DSN NOW screenshot 2021-07-10 at 07:14 UTC
DSN NOW screenshot 2021-07-10 at 09:48 UTC
The screen shots show Canberra's Dish 35 simultaneously transmitting and receiving, and above it is written MRO, MSL and TGO which represent Mars Reconnaissance Orbited, Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) and the Trace Gas Orbiter, and MADRID's Dish 55 likewise with M01O, M20, MEX and MRO above it which are Mars Odyssey, Mars 2020 (Perseverance), Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Note that Curiosity and Perseverance can communicate with Earth through an orbiter and also directly; for more on that see:
- Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?
- How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time?
I clicked on the dish and inspected and copied all of the displayed data and have pasted it below.
This is just an example as background to explain the origin of the question.
Question: How many communications channels can a single DSN dish maintain at the same time? Are there plans to increase this in the future?
Don't count store-and-forward scenarios as multiple spacecraft, e.g. if MRO assists in communication between Curiosity and DSN then only count MRO. But if there are both up and down channels (transmit and receive) for a given spacecraft at the same time that would count as two channels.
ANTENNA NAME: DSS 35 AZIMUTH: 312.78 deg ELEVATION: 22.88 deg WIND SPEED: 4.94 km/hr MODE: MSPA UP SIGNAL: MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER TYPE: DATA DATA RATE: FREQUENCY: 7.18 GHz POWER TRANSMITTED: 4.96 kW DOWN SIGNAL SOURCE: MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER TYPE: DATA DATA RATE: 999.97 kb/sec FREQUENCY: 8.44 GHz POWER RECEIVED: -122.10 dBm (6.17 x 10-19 kW) DOWN SIGNAL SOURCE: TRACE GAS ORBITER TYPE: DATA DATA RATE: 312.49 kb/sec FREQUENCY: 8.41 GHz POWER RECEIVED: -126.94 dBm (2.02 x 10-19 kW)
ANTENNA NAME: DSS 55 AZIMUTH: 90.18 deg ELEVATION: 26.31 deg WIND SPEED: 7.41 km/hr MODE: MSPA UP SIGNAL SOURCE: MARS 2020 (PERSEVERANCE) TYPE: DATA DATA RATE: FREQUENCY: 7.16 GHz POWER TRANSMITTED: 17.55 kW DOWN SIGNAL SOURCE: MARS ODYSSEY TYPE: DATA DATA RATE: 14.22 kb/sec FREQUENCY: 8.41 GHz POWER RECEIVED: -135.92 dBm (2.56 x 10-20 kW) DOWN SIGNAL SOURCE: MARS EXPRESS TYPE: DATA DATA RATE: 65.53 kb/sec FREQUENCY: 8.42 GHz POWER RECEIVED: -126.89 dBm (2.05 x 10-19 kW)