Linked Questions

26 votes
5 answers
3k views

How well can Voyager 1 separate Earth signals from Solar noise these days?

This is a follow-up question to Can Voyager 1 receive signals from Earth? and this and this answer. UPDATED: see additional information and discussion below. As it continues to move farther from the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
900 views

What is the large circular device with a dozen concentric circles on Sentinel 3B?

The Spaceflight Now article Photos: Sentinel 3B satellite prepared for launch from Plesetsk Cosmodrome has of course lots of photos. One of them shows a dish antenna covered with shiny, metallized ...
uhoh's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
811 views

How does the pattern on the MarCo cubesat's antenna boost data-transmission?

I was looking at a few posts that uhoh had made about the MarCo cubesat. One of the pictures was the one that I've posted below: Source The most I can gather from casual NASA articles is along the ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why were the antennas on the spherical surface of some early satellites spiral-shaped?

In the question What's the spiral pattern on this satellite? I show this image of a spiral-shaped pattern on the spherical surface of a (presumably) vintage satellite or model thereof. @OrganicMarble'...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do these satellite antennas look so weird? (strangely shaped with little white dots...)

The NASA Spaceflight article Arianespace press onward with dual-passenger Ariane 5 launch shows a photo of Intelsat 39 during testing. The dish reflectors are strangely shaped: rather than being ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time?

The Curiosity rover has a compact X-band high-gain antenna (HGA) that allows for low data rate communication directly with Earth, but is used though for higher data rates it usually uses UHF to ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
997 views

Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?

In the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? I show an image of the hexagonal, articulated high gain antenna on the curiosity rover, as well as ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
362 views

Can Dragonfly make it to one of Titan's Lakes?

Dragonfly is a drone set to land on Titan in the mid 2030s. As I've read, Saturn - and thus, Titan - won't be in the right orbital position at the time to allow for direct contact with the drone if it ...
jos's user avatar
  • 1,063
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
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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
  • 9,524
8 votes
2 answers
783 views

How do commercial broadcast satellites in GEO produce such carefully shaped signal footprints?

SES-10 will be launched in a few days on Space-X's first commercial launch using a recycled rocket. Screenshots from the three links (Brazil, Central America, South America) on Satbeams page for SES-...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
335 views

How does the Dragonfly helicopter for Titan compare to Perseverance, Ingenuity and a human in terms of size, mass, weight and daily range?

It wasn't until Are Perseverance's wheels really this big? that I realized just how big Curiosity and Perseverance probably are. Writing What is the pop-up circular disk with spiral pattern in ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
733 views

How is GAIA's phased array configured, mechanically and electrically?

GAIA is an amazing pair of space telescopes that share a single Gigapixel CCD array, with a complex optical system capable of repeated, extremely precise position, brightness, parallax, proper motion, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are Starlink satellites flaring?

The "Old and Busted" Iridium satellites flared like crazy because they had big flat metal surfaces for their phased array antennas (that were certainly so shiny completely by accident and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
518 views

What's the spiral pattern on this satellite?

I was looking through old saved urls and when an old Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory press release link didn't work, it sent me to the PageNotFound page, where I saw the image below. It seems ...
uhoh's user avatar
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