I was reading on wiki about Voyager 1 mission and I found very interesting! One thing I did not manage to find: what is the signal Voyager 1 is sending to us? Is it simply a sinewave or something more complicated?

Thanks for the reply!

  • $\begingroup$ A pure sinewave carries no other information than its frequency. To transmit data you need a modulated sinewave. See wikipedia for modulation. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Apr 15, 2019 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Here is what I found at a Nasa site about the telemetry "Uplink communications is via S-band (16-bits/sec command rate) while an X-band transmitter provides downlink telemetry at 160 bits/sec normally and 1.4 kbps for playback of high-rate plasma wave data. All data are transmitted from and received at the spacecraft via the 3.7 meter high-gain antenna (HGA)." $\endgroup$
    – zeta-band
    Apr 15, 2019 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


Voyager uses a type of modulation known as biphase modulation. It's rather complex to explain, but basically the phase of the signal can change rapidly. You can see a picture from Wikipedia that shows this.

enter image description here


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