Questions tagged [antenna]

Questions about devices which collect and couple electromagnetic signals (communications, radar or other electromagnetic measurements) directly between free space, and conductors (e.g. waveguides or other transmission lines).

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When the Mars 2020 and Mars Science Laboratory missions were in deep space, what antennas did they have to communicate with Earth?

This thorough answer to Did the Curiosity and Perseverance rover brains do the driving from Earth to Mars? explains that during deep space flight the rovers' computers were doing most of the thinking ...
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Was Dart antenna tested using a DSN antenna located in Australia?

So recently a tweet by a bot which tracks communications by the Deep Space Network stated that: DSS 43 receiving data from Double Asteroid Redirection Test at 312.5kb/s. IN LOCK IN LOCK 1 TURBO 11:11 ...
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Why do AST SpaceMobile satellites have antennas much larger than Starlink, whereas they both aim at providing network coverage anywhere on earth?

I read on cnbc.com (mirror): AST drew the attention of NASA in October, when the U.S. space agency commented on the company’s FCC proposal and said AST’s “extremely large satellites” would create “an ...
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What is a Beam Waveguide dish and why does the Deep Space Network use them?

NASA Spaceflight.com's Deep Space Network upgrades and new antennas increase vital communication capabilities says: NASA’s Deep Space Network, commonly referred to as the DSN, has welcomed a new dish,...
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What are the electrical requirements of the antennas used in Starlink?

My interest is in both the antenna for the ground segment (the "UFO on a stick") and the antennas for the space segment (phased arrays if I'm not mistaken). I couldn't find around much more ...
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What are the most common practical design specifications for antenna in space?

I'm writing my thesis on antennas for small satellite applications (cubesats). Apart from the electrical specifications related to the particular application there are also several other "...
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Has a probe ever been lost due to folding its antenna, making it unable to communicate?

I remember hearing the story of a probe on the surface of a planet (maybe Venus) that was lost due to an incredible design flaw, and I'm looking for more details. The probe had a dish antenna, and ...
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87 views

What radio signals have NASA transmitted to outside our solar system?

What radio signal have NASA transmitted to outside our solar system and what did they contain?
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Antenna required to reach titan

There are two 12U cubesats, one in Earth orbit and one in orbit around Titan. They have a transmit power of 700 W (for short periods) and have identical antennas. What diameter and what type of ...
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162 views

Exchange diameter for power in parabolic antenna

If I want to reduce the diameter of a satellite dish, how much power should I add to the transmitter? how is this formula? As I have already been informed a little in this other question I asked: X-...
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Alternatives to the X-Band

is there any other band that can do something similar to what the x-band does? Any that require a smaller antenna and more electrical power?
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X-Band range and data

In summary I am working on a network consisting of 8 cubesat 1U that will be at an orbit altitude of 850Km. The question is that I am working on communications, the idea is that this network of ...
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How do I calculate what antenna I need for my cubesat?

If I want to make a communication satellite, like MarCO, what formulas do I need to calculate the perfect antenna? Is there a difference between the X-Band and the classic UHF? If the cubesat is ...
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General overview of how deep space communications performed

What frequency bands and general classes of antennas are used to communicate with deep space spacecraft? As an example, if we place a cubesat in orbit around Io, what would the antenna need to be ...
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317 views

How do OneWeb satellites' antennas work?

The images below are of actual OneWeb satellites or models. There are two disk-like appendages and an array of linear gizmos which may be an array antenna. Is it possible to explain how these two ...
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How does this large, flat antenna made from overlapping circles at Australia's Carnarvon Space Tracking Center work?

@Fred's comment links to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's How the Apollo 11 Moon landing was achieved with the vital help of Carnarvon Tracking Station which links to their Carnarvon space ...
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Help understanding how these components of a Honeysuckle Creek dish antenna work

@Fred's comment links to the Curious Droid video How Australia Helped Save Apollo 13 and a little after 02:15 and 03:00 it shows ...
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How exactly were the signals from quad dishes of Apollo Deep Space High-Gain Antenna or Russian B-529 processed for local control of tracking?

The images below (and their sources) show the quad dishes of the Apollo Deep Space High-Gain Antenna and the Russian B529 ground station tracking antenna. From NASA Technical Note TN D-6723 Apollo ...
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Which deep space spacecraft had main dish antennas that were perforated or made from mesh?

A long time ago I was considering asking why the dish antennas on some deep-space probes were perforated metal or mesh (presumably to save weight), while others were solid. I'm trying to finally ...
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What antenna is this in an Apollo 15 LM photo?

The video Apollo 15 landing from PDI to Touchdown (found in Why did the Apollo 15 LM violently shake & raise dust after the contact probes touched the lunar surface?) seems to pan across a still ...
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How did Luna 3's pivoting antennas and ribbon antennas work?

This comment below this answer to How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation? links to the svengrahn.pp.se post Luna 3 - the first view of the moon's far side. ...
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How were the 100+ antennas around Telstar 1 and 2 configured?

Telstar 1 and 2 demonstrated routing of telephone, television and other communications types between continents. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum pages below contain images of the satellites. ...
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How do these cubesats' whip antennas work?

This answer has identified the three 1U cubesats shown in the question, and links to Engineers Rule's Maya-1: The Philippines’ First CubeSat along with the video Animation of MAYA-1, The Philippines' ...
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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 ...
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Impact of having two antennas on link budget calculations

I'm working on link budget of a cubesat mission that needs to have two dipole antennas that are perpendicular to each other. I want to know if having two antennas affect the link budget? losses, and ...
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How large of an antenna would you need to connect to the ISS's WiFi network from Earth?

Supposing I wanted to connect to the ISS's WiFi network from the ground, how large of an antenna would I need to do so, and what kind? Would they need to increase the power on their end or use a ...
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What kind of transmitters and antennas do the Lightsail-2 ground stations use?

The cubesat Lightsail-2 has been deployed and has communicated with ground stations. See The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 Healthy as Mission Team Continues Spacecraft Checkouts, where it says: ...
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How does Deep Space Network's DSS-14 transmit radar and receive it at (almost) the same time? (monostatic radar)

@Hobbes' concise yet thorough answer to the question 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? tells us ...
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Could the Voyager spacecraft be spin-stabilized to keep their high gain antennas pointing towards the Sun (and therefore Earth)?

A suggestion has been made that the Voyagers may run out of propellant and so may not be able to maintain pointing near the Earth for communications. According to @BowlOfRed's answer: Although the ...
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190 views

When did deep-space probes start getting wrapped in germanium-coated film?

The NASA video Juno Engineering: Precision Matters shows the Juno spacecraft on what look like it might be a spin balance table after about 02:50 and there one can ...
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Relation between beamwidths of E-plane and H-plane

Is there any relation between E-plane and H-plane beamwidths of an antenna when steering in azimuth and elevation directions?
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387 views

Why do GEO satellites need different types of antenna?

Why do GEO satellites like the one shown in the picture below need different types of antenna? Is there a reference library or website where we can get more information on different antenna types, ...
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How is this video projection screen is used in tests of Europa Clipper's high gain antenna?

Phys.org's Europa Clipper high-gain antenna undergoes testing says: The full-scale prototype antenna, which at 10 feet (3 meters) tall is the same height as a standard basketball hoop, is in the ...
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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: The most I can gather from casual NASA articles is along the lines of: ...
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How do Inmarsat 5 F4's beams correspond to all of these antennas and feeds?

note: This is an old-style @uhoh question meaning that it is a bit on the long side. In this case I think it really needs to be since the question is a bit complex; I'm trying to understand how all ...
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When scientific and engineering data are sent from space probes, are the signals repeated to minimize transmission error?

I would think that this would be the case. In any one transmission there will be a systematic error due to the fundamentals of the transmitter / receiver. Is there also a transient or stochastic error ...
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How do you calculate the lat and lon of a point on the earth using azimuth and elevation seen from a geostationary satellite?

I am given the longitude of a geostationary satellite and a pointing vector from the satellite in the form of azimuth and elevation angles looking from the satellite towards the earth (where zero ...
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Is OSIRIS-REx's high gain antenna nearly the same as TESS'? If so, why?

These two high gain antennas look very similar superficially, but are not identical. Is this a case of convergent design (a fancy kind of coincidence) or have they evolved from the same source, or ...
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Did New Horizons use its smaller medium-gain antenna for most/all downlinking of Pluto and Arrokoth flyby data?

Brian May's New Horizons video (below) was released at about the same time that the New Horizons spacecraft passed 2014 MU69 Arrokoth and includes a lot of technically meaningful graphics. One item ...
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How does this fast-slewing dish track moving spacecraft?

Elon Musk's recent tweet shows a video clip of a modest-sized dish on fairly fast-slewing mount located: At SpaceX Boca Chica launch site in Texas In the question Why is the reflector on this ...
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What happened to the plan to build a DSN antenna array?

More than ten years ago there were plans to build large antenna arrays for DSN, about 400 antennas of 12m diameter. See these NASA papers 1, 2, 3, 4. What happened to these plans?
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What kind of ground-based radio astronomy is NASA's DSN used for? Who are the PIs?

I looked at DNS Now to check on Hayabusa-2 and compare to http://haya2now.jp/en.html and saw that DSS 34 in Canberra is currently in setup/teardown for Ground Based Radio Astronomy! In this status ...
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What is the largest antenna deployed in space?

@Tristan's answer says: The satellites are classified, so details are speculative, but it is believed that the Magnum/Orion and Mentor SIGINT satellites have parabolic antennae around 100 m in ...
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Function and nature of the RHC/LCH pair of cables to New Horizons's dish antenna secondary mirror?

Spaceflight 101's New Horizons Spacecraft Overview is full of interesting information and shows this RF Comm System Block Diagram. The thin (red) lines to the dish antenna area are coaxial cables and ...
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Was there a prototype for Solar Probe's hybrid Heat Shield/Antenna?

An early concept of the Solar Probe (reborn as Solar Probe Plus then Parker Solar Probe) used a parabolic antenna with a heat-resistant nadir facing side to double as a heat shield. While sourcing ...
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Did NASA's Borg Collective-designed antennas work? Have similar designs ever been used in spacecraft beyond testing?

This interesting answer to the question Do antenna farms on spacecraft make any sense or are they purely aesthetic? in Worldbuilding SE links to the NASA Ames page 'Borg' Computer Collective Designs ...
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Did any of Voyagers' receivers' front ends take advantage of the “cold of space” to lower noise?

Most of the Voyagers' electronics are kept warm by electrical heaters powered by their RTG's, and presumably protected by some amount of insulation from the "cold of space" which means loss of heat ...
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How does this antenna work, with both a feed horn and hyperbolic secondary in front of the dish?

Scrolling through the Roscosmos twitter feed I saw this image of a dish antenna in a recent tweet. Google translate shows that the post says: Новый измерительный пункт будет построен на Сахалине для ...
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Need help identifying this (likely to be) phased array antenna used to track launches

I need help identifying the (what I believe to be) flat (and possibly phased) array antenna shown next to the tracking telescope in this photo, which can be found both here and here where the ...
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What is this combination tracking telescope and helical antenna pair? was it really used, and who is/was FlightLine?

I spotted the image below here which I found here (also seen here). Zooming in on this combination pair of telescope trackers and pair of RHCP and LHCP (right- and left-handed circular polarization) ...