Linked Questions

16 votes
6 answers
5k views

Can I text on my cell phone from the ISS to Earth?

We know from Can we detect the cell phone, satellite phone, or walkie talkie of someone walking on Mars from Earth? that cell phone signals on Mars are potentially observable on Earth. I am not an ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the purpose of the rotating dish antenna on the ISS

I just saw some footage of the ISS in which a dish antenna could be seen, constantly rotating. The dish looked more-or-less parabolic, meaning that it is presumably sending/receiving along a fairly ...
Anthony X's user avatar
  • 17.4k
17 votes
2 answers
10k views

How to calculate data rate of Voyager 1?

I've read the following passage in the answer to the Quora question How can Voyager send a signal strong enough for us to receive, in spite of its enormous distance from us? And how can it have the ...
Tommytii's user avatar
  • 173
21 votes
2 answers
2k views

How precise must be the antenna orientation to communicate with a deep space probe?

I guess that everyone is familiar with the problem of aligning a TV satellite dish: some degrees off and the signal you desire is gone. How sensitive is communication with deep space probes to this ...
Federico's user avatar
  • 980
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it possible for LEO satellites to detect a usable signal from regular mobile phones on the ground?

Background Recently I came across a company called ASTS that claims they will be able to launch LEO satellites with the capability to talk with regular mobile phones. I initially wrote their claims ...
0xbad1d3a5's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

When cis-lunar Artemis astronauts and folks on Earth communicate via audio (e.g. EVAs) will they still step on each other's words like during Apollo?

It's been fifty years since we've heard astronauts and ground folks talk over each other ("step on each other" in 1970's CB radio parlance). Sitting on the floor a few feet away from our ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

What makes an antenna "high gain", and high gain as opposed to what alternative(s)?

Whenever communications to/from a space vehicle are described or discussed, there is inevitably a reference to the vehicle's "high gain" antenna. What is it about such an antenna (specific technical ...
Anthony X's user avatar
  • 17.4k
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do all satellites and space probes have high & low gain antennas and what are their functions?

What is the main function of high and low gain antennas? Do all satellites and space probes have high and low gain antennas?
Hash's user avatar
  • 18k
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

When is a phased array antenna not a phased array?

This question is inspired by an answer to this question, where it is stated that: The real power of phased arrays is their ability to be steered electronically. This set me wondering about the ...
Puffin's user avatar
  • 9,514
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How many communication antennas does a satellite need if it belongs to a constellation?

I assume (but I may be wrong) that in a communication satellite constellation such as the one spaceX plan to put into service: each full duplex link requires a dedicated antenna each satellite ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 3,780
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why has the Earth's motion carried it out of view of Pioneer 11's antenna?

According to The Pioneer Missions, my emphasis, The Pioneer 11 Mission ended on 30 September 1995, when the last transmission from the spacecraft was received. There have been no communications ...
user's user avatar
  • 7,322
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is TESS' high gain antenna made of undulating BLACK fabric rather than metal?

above: from Facebook, then annotated. There is an excellent review of the design of the TESS spacecraft in G. R. Richter et al. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
591 views

Is it possible for the Deep Space Network to use MSPA and antenna arraying simultaneously?

Suppose Mars Odyssey (ODY) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are being tracked by antenna A (just for example) at the Goldstone Deep Space Network complex in MSPA mode. Is it possible for ...
Rojina Adhikary's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are the prospects for comms with cubesats using "normal" internet connections?

Can a cubesat in orbit be operated like a R/C airplane in real time? edit: if the link here and the end aren't clear, I'm interested in the ease and convenience of access, the frequency of possible ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
2 answers
436 views

What is this tiny articulated dish antenna-like thing on Zvezda?

I spotted this tiny, articulated dish antenna-like thing on the Zvezda module of the ISS while looking around for images for here. It looks like it's associated with and/or pointing in the same ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k

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