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I am new to using radios and was wondering why do data rates matter when you use a radio to pull info from somewhere else. Also what does it mean when a satellite sends a wide band signal. Thank you for your time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi @StudentMaxwellPalisi and Welcome to Space! Your question is pretty broad, and it may be closed soon. That's not the end of the world. If you can make some modifications to make it more specific it could be reopened, or you can ask a new question. Try to do some reading on the topic, and when you see something more specific, that would be a better Stack Exchange question. If it is also related to about space exploration, you can ask it here, but there are almost 200 different SE sites to choose from. Have fun and stay on-topic. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 11 '19 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ My apologies, I meant to say why do satellites such as hubble use high data rates? and why are the signals coming from hubble so wide? $\endgroup$ – Student Maxwell Palisi Apr 11 '19 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ Your question has been closed, votes were a mix of "off-topic" and "too broad". You can consider editing your question and focusing more narrowly on Hubble (as you mentioned in your comment) and starting the reopen process, or you can ask a new question. If you edit here, be mindful to keep the current answer that's been posted still a helpful answer. (see comments) If you want to stray farther, then ask as a new question. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 11 '19 at 7:09
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A few issues here:

You don't "pull" information with a radio. That just isn't a thing.

When transmitting, radio waves follow an inverse square law: when you double the distance, you quarter the power, which means you rapidly approach the noise floor (from cosmic radiation, solar radiation, you name it) so in order to combat noise, you need to send data more slowly. This often means longer codes indicating 1's and 0's, and generally more check digits - all adding up to lower data rate.

Check out the Wikipedia Page on error detection - it has a section on deep space telecommunications.

And Wide Band just means using a greater frequency range - which can help to increase bandwidth/data rate or alternatively lower the noise floor.

Hubble, and other satellites, are considerably closer, so can transmit data at much higher rates, including very high resolution images, video feeds, experiment results data etc.

The challenge they have is RF interference from human transmissions, so wide band transmission is used for both interference resistance and increasing data rate.

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  • $\begingroup$ OP has commented and I was going to recommend they modify the question along those lines, but your answer sort-of locks them in to the original question. How do you feel about focusing this question on Hubble, versus the OP asking a new question? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 11 '19 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh - I think my edits should work $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Apr 11 '19 at 7:05

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