What is a rough estimate for the bitrate needed for GNC (guidance, navigation, and control) of an interplanetary spacecraft from Earth? I know it varies a great deal from case to case, but I want an order-of-magnitude estimate so I can plan conservatively.

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    $\begingroup$ First off, there are bitrates in two directions, with very different link budgets. Second, with appropriate sensors and compute, the spacecraft could do it all autonomously, so the answer is zero. Third, it depends on what data you need to process on the ground (just doppler and range? optical nav images?) to get the required accuracy. Fourth, with just doppler and range, the data down is for housekeeping, and is mostly unrelated to the GN&C. Fifth, the data up depends on the autonomy on the spacecraft and the complexity of the commanding. $\endgroup$ – Mark Adler Jul 19 '17 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ Being a software and systems engineer, I can confirm the answer by @MarkAdler, and would suggest that his remark be given the status of a (good) answer. $\endgroup$ – Jan van Oort Aug 26 '19 at 5:03

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