As New Horizon's signal is so weak, probability exists of errors in detected signal.

What error detection and correction codes are used in the signal? Is it known, what is the error rate in received signal?

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    $\begingroup$ See Phil Karn's answer to this question: space.stackexchange.com/questions/7776/… $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Jul 17, 2015 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ I inquired about this at JPL's Space Flight Operations Facility, and they said that they do use error correction software on all of their missions. He didn't know the details of it, though. $\endgroup$
    – Phiteros
    Jul 19, 2016 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ The required bit error rate, which along with the link margins determines the data rate, is typically 10^-6. The actual performance is usually much better, and importantly the probability of undetected errors is far lower. There may be errors around the start and end of the pass at low elevation, and there may be errors due to storm activity at the station, but otherwise there is enough link margin to effectively see no errors. Packets or products not received are left on the spacecraft and retransmitted on a later pass. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Adler
    Mar 2, 2017 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


Most ESA and NASA spacecraft have communications systems that are designed to the CCSDS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems) recommendations. For the TM coding there is a specific standard (CCSDS 101.0-B-4).

New Horizons uses the rate 1/6 Turbo Coding option, as described in this overview: New Horizons Spacecraft.


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