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Questions tagged [communication]

Questions regarding information transfer between spacecraft, and between spacecraft and Earth.

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Why will radioastronomy telescopes be used to listen to InSight's entry into Mars' atmosphere instead of DSN?

The JPL News article How NASA Will Know When InSight Touches Down is interesting and worth a read. It says that during the atmospheric entry, descent and landing, the Mars InSight probe will be ...
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Are there plans or a program for an optical relay pathfinder for deep space?

In Glenn Research Center's Richard Reinhart's slides Space Communication and Navigation TestbedCommunications Technology for Exploration for the 2013 ISS Research and Development Conference I saw an ...
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Can astronauts on an EVA communicate directly with ground stations?

Can astronauts/cosmonauts performing spacewalks at the International Space Station communicate directly with radio stations on the ground (even if only as a back-up)? Or do they need to relay their ...
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What technology will SpaceX's StarLink satellites most likely use for sat-to-sat linking?

The question How does SpaceX plan to make money with StarLink Broadband? has got me thinking about how the satellites will link to each other. Wikipedia says it's something greater than 10,000 GHz ...
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Yet another OSIRIS! Has the DLR/GOM Space test of the cubesat optical communications link happened yet?

Speaking of "all things OSIRIS" I just ran across the OSIRIS optical communications system for cubesats and smallsats. OSIRIS (Optical Space Infrared Downlink System) highly compact optical ...
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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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Is it possible to use the planet earth as a giant smoke signal to communicate across space? [closed]

I have had a theory that maybe by placing an object like a large satalite rotating disc a certain distance away from the planet earth. We can rotate the satalite at a reasonable speed to perform ...
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Given a working satellite, would it be possible to build a homemade transmitter/receiver?

Given existing low-orbit and geo-synchronous satellites, would it be possible to build a device that could send a signal to a satellite and then have that signal received on another device? ...
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How to calculate azimuth and elevation angles from satellite point of view of a ground station?

How to find azimuth and elevation from satellite of a ground station when yaw, pitch, roll, lat, long position of satellite and lat, long position on ground are given? ...
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Can a swarm of nano-probes act as a phased antenna of a greater power?

One problem with nano-satellites and generally any small spacecraft is that you can't fit a powerful power source and antenna - their usability outside vicinity of 'adult' satellites or Earth is thus ...
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Which Live satellites can the public view of earth? [closed]

Does anybody know if there is a LIVE satellite? Like a cross between Google Earth (zoom) and GOES 16 (LIVE)? So WE can see what's really going on around here? I want to see inside of the crater in ...
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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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Do the rovers in Hayabusa-2 communicate directly with the spacecraft or use the landers as relay?

I can't infer this from this documentation or the presentation: Do the ROVER-1A and ROVER-1B communicate with MINERVA-II-1, and it then relays to the Hayabusa2 "mothership", or do they communicate ...
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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'...
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Can we detect the cell phone, satellite phone, or walkie talkie of someone walking on Mars from Earth?

We certainly cannot see a person walking on Mars from Earth. But what if the person is trying to use a cell phone, walkie talkie, or satellite phone? Although he won't have much luck using any of ...
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Is telerobotic surgery logistically feasible in orbit?

A recent comment said telerobotic surgery might be used in space, a follow up comment said that multiple minute light delays would complicate it. But I wonder if just the fact that being in orbit, ...
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What is astronaut Alexander Gerst signaling with this hand signal?

In this AP/WISN news item Air leak at International Space Station temporarily plugged by a thumb they show a file photo of German astronaut Alexander Gerst at the Baikonur cosmodrome, making what ...
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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 ...
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Why are polar codes not being used in space communications (error correction)?

From what I have read, satellite communications work mostly using turbo codes since the 90s, but most recently (2009) the polar codes were developed, which seem to be also faster and easier to ...
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Synchronizing spacecraft communication

When NASA is giving commands to a distant spacecraft like Juno, how is that done in terms of timing and protocol? For example do they: give a command to burn for 15 seconds upon receiving the ...
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How will the Exomars rover communicate back to Earth?

I see here that the Exomars rover has only two UHF monopole antennas. Two UHF monopole antennas are used to communicate with Mars orbiters, including the Trace Gas Orbiter. Does it mean that it ...
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What will China's new “space station” in Argentinian Patagonia be used for?

The New York Times (fairly strongly worded) article From a Space Station in Argentina, China Expands Its Reach in Latin America describes a "space station" or base equipped with (among other things) a ...
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Deep Space Network time budgets per spacecraft - is such statistics available?

Is statistics available about time consumed by different spacecraft for communication wint NASA Deep Space Network (DSN)? It would be interesting to compare which space missions are more downlink-...
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How did NASA prevent third parties from spoofing Apollo communications?

The Apollo crews transmitted footage to Earth using SSTV, a ham radio technique that amateurs and pirates can use to send similar messages around the world. Did NASA have any technical ...
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What nodes were used to send a NASA selfie from Antarctica to the ISS?

The November 29, 2017 NASA video Future-Proofing the Interplanetary Internet says: In a recent demonstration of the technology, NASA sent a selfie from Antarctica to the space station, making ...
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Relativistic effects in space mission communications

How important are relativistic effects in communication with space missions? I am doing some work on Mars Pathfinder and want to know if effects like gravitational deflection of microwaves matter in ...
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105 views

Laser communication for interplanetary probes - aiming is impossible without beacon?

Laser communications are considered very promising for interplanetary probes because of potentially much higher data rates. I found that laser communication at large distances (over 3 a.u. ~ 450 ...
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Data from Cubesat as web API

I’m doing some research for possible cubesat mission and I spent days on the internet and in books trying to find a simple answer to my dumb question. I’m completely new in this field so I’m not sure ...
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Why is SES-12 "…basically two satellites in one…”?

The Florida Today article On second flight, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch 'brute' of a satellite from Cape describes the upcoming SpaceX launch of SES-12. At roughly 12,000 pounds, the SES-12 ...
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Attitude requirements for inter-satellite laser communication

Previous questions have address the beam divergence angles and the expected signal attenuation for laser communication between spacecraft. However, I was wondering what is a typical receiver aperture ...
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Why is Queqiao's dish antenna so big? (Chang'e-4 relay satellite) Largest ever on/near the Moon?

The NASA Spaceflight article Queqiao relay satellite launched ahead of Chang’e-4 lunar mission describes the communications relay satellite that will be used to communicate with Chang'e-4, which will ...
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Why is Sentinel 3B's dish antenna overwrapped with metallized film?

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 ...
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Feasibility of Interstellar Probe Communication

So, I understand that to transmit information across interstellar distances, you need to use a lot of power (or less bandwidth?), something for example a small space probe wouldn't exactly have. If we ...
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Is communication from a spacecraft in SEL1 disturbed by the Sun?

A spacecraft at the Sun Earth Lagrange point one (1% of an AU, or one Solar diameter, from Earth towards the Sun) would have the Sun as its background. Is the Sun emitting strongly enough at ...
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Stethoscope as a backup communication device

I'm curious about the use of stethoscopes as a backup communication source. This would be used between two spacecrafts, such as 2 astronauts in spacesuits, and help bridge the vacuum between them. ...
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Is it possible for Curiosity to broadcast live HD television from Mars to Earth?

Current Mars rovers collect large amounts of data and image sequences on Mars and store them in memory, and usually they then transfer the data to a spacecraft in Mars orbit for rebroadcast to Earth ...
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Was the Orbit Pavilion triggered by real communications events?

The October 2016 NASA JPL news article Art Turns Public Eyes (and Ears) Toward Space describes an artistic interpretation of the communications between a number of NASA Earth satellites and ground ...
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Do satellite uplink/downlink signals spread or leak into space?

Satellite communication generally involves three types of nodes: the ground station (also known as teleport), the satellite in geosynchronous orbit, and the satellite receiver/transceiver. I am ...
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Was Houston able to control to the Apollo spacecraft if needed? [duplicate]

Was every aspect of a flight, aside from liftoff, solely the responsibility of the crew? Or was Houston able to command parts of the spacecraft and its computers remotely in an emergency or if ...
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First call to the moon 1969

During the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, there was a phone call where the POTUS at that time, Richard Nixon, was able to speak to astronauts Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin. How was this possible?
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Frequency and modulation mode(s) for the SpaceX Tesla roadster mass in space

As an Electrical Engineer (emphasis in RF and radar, class of '74) who has followed the space program(s) since Mercury, and a prior flight test telemetry engineer, I was wondering if anyone knows what ...
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Why would SpaceX limit Starman’s Tesla signal transmission to 12 hours and not use solar power? [duplicate]

I'm as smitten as everyone else by Elon’s Starman cruisin' his Tesla through the cosmos. But I'm even more curious why we were limited to a signal transmission architecture with a mere 12-hour life ...
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How did the communication work between the SpaceX Tesla and Earth?

With a Tesla launched in space and HD cameras put on it, I can imagine its not easy to receive a signal from that slowly spinning, multiple ten-thousand km away new artificial object in our solar ...
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Will the Tesla Roadster return any telemetry?

Is there any equipment fitted to the Tesla Roadster to send signals back to Earth, even for a short time after launch?
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How long is a satellite orbiting at 300 miles going to be visible from horizon to horizon?

Elon Musk has a plan for satellite internet that involves LEO and VLEO satellites. The question I have is how long would a satellite at these altitudes actually be within range before having to ...
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How to design a ground antenna for sending & receiving from a satellite?

Let's suppose there is a wifi router or a cell phone or similar transmitter in an orbit of 3000 km. How could one make a dish antenna to connect and receive the signal from that wifi router or cell ...
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Apollo 17; what is a barber pole, and what did “it is gray” mean?

Following the links in this comment by @Uwe I've found some interesting sources of information on Ham (amateur) radio operators trying to listen in on Apollo transmissions. At the bottom of Sven ...
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Difference in communication delay on ISS

What cause the difference in communication delay, about 11 seconds in this video: and apparently almost no delay on this one: ...
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How many ways of communication with ground can ISS crew use?

I'm currently writing fictional story which is happening at ISS and I have so many questions about this topic, but this one is the most important to me. How many possibilities of communication they ...
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How to determine an available planetary communication window using orbital mechanics?

For class I have an orbit around Mars at an inclination of 63.4 deg and a base site of 55 deg North and was wondering how to work out the communication window, using orbital mechanics. Orbital ...