A bit of spin on Which LEO missions are currently supported by NASA's DSN (and why)? is what I have in mind.
The Deep Space Network home-page writes to say
Each complex consists of at least four deep space stations equipped with ultrasensitive receiving systems and large parabolic dish antennas. There are:
• One 34-meter (111-foot) diameter High Efficiency antenna.
• One 34-meter Beam Waveguide antenna. (Three at the Goldstone Complex and two in Madrid)
• One 26-meter (85-foot) antenna.
• One 70-meter (230-foot) antenna.
Apparently each station is commanded remotely as mentioned on that page
All the stations are remotely operated from a centralized Signal Processing Center at each complex. The Centers house the electronic subsystems that point and control the antennas, receive and process the telemetry data, transmit commands, and generate the spacecraft navigation data.
There are any number of space-craft operating in space
- Voyager 1
- Voyager 2
- Herschel, to name just a few ...
What I'm curious about
- Can a station communicate with more than one space-craft using simple time-slicing without re-orientation of the antenna/s?
- What algorithm (is that the proper term?) is followed to orient an antenna? Surely any given antenna isn't moved from zenith to nadir then back & around at random ...