Discussion at this answer to Why does DSN sometimes uses two dishes at the same time to receive Voyager-1? include the possibility that in some cases it would be preferable to use two 34 meter DSN dishes instead of one 70 meter dish, and if a 70 meter dish somehow reached end of life it would be replaced by two 34 meter dishes that would also be lower cost to operate.
The primary goal of this question is to address the usage aspects rather than the operation costs or the likelihood that a 70 meter dish would "wear out" any time soon. But one is welcome to touch on those too.
Question: Given three different configurations:
- One 70 meter DSN dish
- Two co-located 34 meter DSN dishes
- Two 34 meter DSN dishes at different sites
what are the tradeoffs between them, and under which circumstances or usage scenarios are each the best or worst option?
Related questions and answers likely helpful to support answers here:
- What is a Beam Waveguide dish and why do deep space communications stations use them?
- How does a third DSN station serves as a “relay” to tie-together observations by two other stations doing VLBI?
- Why was Canberra able to listen to Voyager 2 but not talk to it? (aspherical cows)
- Why doesn't thermal radio emission from a DSN "hot dish" completely swamp the benefits of a cold LNA?
- Has DSS-43 ever been used in high power mode (>>20 kW) for an emergency situation?
- What is the highest non-optical frequency used or tested for use in deep space communication?
- How many hours each day is Mars reachable by 2 of the 3 DSN complexes?
- Deep Space Network's transmitter power versus frequency?
- How does Deep Space Network's DSS-14 transmit radar and receive it at (almost) the same time? (monostatic radar)
- Will future deep space optical communications "ground stations" actually be in space, or on the ground?
- What are monostatic radar observations, and how will Deep Space Network's DSS-13 be used to observe asteroid 1999 WK4's flyby of Earth?
- Why does DSN sometimes uses two dishes at the same time to receive Voyager-1?
- Understanding shape of DSN's 'kinky uplink protocol' keeping frequency in coherent transponder's optimum bandpass?
- Has Same Beam Interference (SBI) been used or at least tested at Mars? Are there plans to use it in the next few years?
- What kind of ground-based radio astronomy is NASA's DSN used for? Who are the PIs?
- What happened to the plan to build a DSN antenna array?