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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
310 views

Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) - from what distance could a flashlight be detected by a space-based telescope

Flight laser transmitter - for Psyche mission has Mass 29 kg (100 W). It also requires pointing up to 3 degrees of the Sun (towards the receiver telescope). My question is about really small probes (...
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, ...
5 votes
2 answers
170 views

What is this term in the link budget equation from Space Mission Analysis and Design (SMAD)?

Looking at the 3rd edition of Space Mission Analysis and Design by Wertz and Larson, their equation (13-4) presents the link equation, $\frac{E_b}{N_0} = \frac{PL_\ell G_t L_s L_a G_r}{k T_s R}$, with ...
10 votes
2 answers
815 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 ...
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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
347 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
325 views

Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging?

In this answer I link to the Phys.org article Researcher sets eyes on Saturn's largest moon which describes the Dragonfly project, a way to explore extended areas of Titan's surface difficult to probe ...
9 votes
1 answer
378 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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
785 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-...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How should we point our SpaceX Starlink ground transceiver antennas?

I don't have one of course, but I see that the Starlink ground transceiver antennas are flat but "pointable" to some extent. I assume but don't know for sure that there's at least some kind ...
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'...
4 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...

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