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Questions tagged [communication]

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

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Do antennae on the ISS have to constantly move to maintain data links?

In this question and answer pair I see that the ISS can maintain data links to earth through direct access to ground stations as well as through the TDRSS geostationary satellite network. What kind ...
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How well can Voyager 1 separate Earth signals from Solar noise these days?

This is a follow-up question to this question and this and this answer. UPDATED: see additional information and discussion below. As it continues to move farther from the Sun, the angular separation ...
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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 did NASA achieve their live TV broadcast in 1969?

In 1969, NASA not only went to the moon, but broadcast the whole thing live on TV. How did they achieve the TV broadcast? What technology did they need to use to send a video and audio signal from ...
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When does the ISS have a loss-of-signal?

The ISS has a camera mounted streaming live video from space (HDEV). From time to time, there is a blue screen visible, which is noted to be during times of "loss of signal". What exactly defines a "...
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How does NASA get information from space probes?

So I have briefly gone over answers to how things are stored as from this answer: https://space.stackexchange.com/a/2273/1247 but how is the information sent back? I'm thinking of probes like the ...
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How many antennas does Kurz use in toto, and what are each of their functions?

I learned about the Kurz docking system in this answer, then found out what they looked like in this and in this answer. Those images show several tiny dish antenna structures sticking out from ...
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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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How does Voyager 1 send signals to Earth?

I recently studied that Voyager 1 has traveled a distance of 125.01 AU as of August 3rd, 2013. I wonder, how would it be able to communicate with the Earth? How much time does it take for the signal ...
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How big is Earth's sphere of broadcast influence?

The question Interstellar eavesdropping points out that we have been broadcasting to space for a long time, currently we are approaching a century. This means every star system in within 100 light ...
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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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Will there be “Near Space” Ka band allocations for TESS?

update: More information in Phys.org's news item TESS mission to discover new planets moves toward launch, including a video of the telescope array's final assembly. Also see GSFC's TESS page. The ...
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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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Can Voyager 1 receive signals from Earth?

There are answers about Voyager 1 sending messages to Earth, but can Earth still send signals to Voyager 1? I am just wondering if the signal of the Sun will eventually overcome the signal from Earth ...
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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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What was the last message to Opportunity today (13 Feb '19)?

Several articles have mentioned that the last ever commands were sent to the unresponsive Opportunity rover today by NASA. Now, I know that it wasn't a verbal message, but was there anything digital ...
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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 ...
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How much power loss does the LLCD suffer in transit?

Space.com writes to say (freeform improved quote): The LLCD (Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration) space terminal is designed to beam data from the moon at a rate six times faster than the best ...
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Interstellar eavesdropping

For about a century, humanity has broadcasted noise to space in the form of TV broadcasts, radio, etc... The nearest star is 4.242 light-years away, so for about 90 years, aliens -- if they exist in ...
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Equipment needed to contact ICE/ISEE3 Spaceraft

A few days ago, I was reading the wikipedia entry for the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) / International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite, that was launched August 12, 1978. Down near ...
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Has DSS-43 ever been used in high power mode (>>20 kW) for an emergency situation?

This answer notes that while most Deep Space Network transmitters are 20 kW of power or less, one dish (DSS-43 in Canberra) is equipped with a transmitter capable of 400 kW. As described in 101, 70-m ...
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Why is Queqiao's dish antenna so big? (Chang'e-4 relay satellite) Largest ever on/near the Moon?

Source: Chinese language blogpost 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 ...
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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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How is data transferred from interplanetary missions?

I'm trying to find out information about the mechanics of data transmission from planetary probes: techniques, devices, methods, software. In short, How reliable data transmission is undertaken in ...
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Long range laser communication beam divergence angle values?

NASA has been working on demonstrations of laser communication with satellites. The motivation is simple, in that lasers see less power loss because they spread over a smaller angle. That raises the ...
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Can I use Iridium as a receiver network for my satellite?

One of the operational costs for a satellite in orbit is maintaining a receiver ground station. Would it be feasible to send an Iridium transceiver along with my satellite, and then operate it from my ...
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Does man send any signal to attract aliens?

Does man send any signal (such as electromagnetic radiation) to space to attract aliens?
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What evidence would be needed to determine a signal was artificial in origin?

Humanity has received some odd signals in the past. We've also sent out some signals ourselves. How could we determine that a signal we'd received was artificial in origin? Or of course inversely, ...
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Could “live” video be transmitted from Mars?

With the approach of InSight to Mars today, and the two cubesats watching it, much is being made about seeing "Live Video" from the cubesats. I'm pretty sure that simply can't happen, but I'm ...
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What bitrates are currently achievable for communication with interplanetary space probes?

In communication with interplanetary space probes, it is clear that one has to take the delay caused by speed of light into account. Besides that, what are current limits for the data upload and ...
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What's the current timeline for NASA's Mars orbiter laser communications?

Dr. Jim Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division, mentioned during his "The Martian": Science Fiction & Science Fact talk for the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention (you can ...
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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 many space-craft can a station on the DSN communicate with concurrently?

A bit of spin on Which LEO missions are currently supported by NASA's DSN (and why)? is what I have in mind. The Deep Space Network home-page writes to say Each complex consists of at least ...
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Are Martian winds as strong as portrayed in “The Martian”?

I read Andy Weir's "The Martian" and saw the movie, which is supposed to be realistic science fiction. And I immediately saw a couple of huge flaws, one of which I'd like to tackle with this question: ...
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What will MOM do when Earth isn't looking?

A quick follow-up to Is each instrument on ISRO MOM independently in 24x7 contact with Earth? Every 26 months Sol interposes to occult Earth from the gaze of the Warlord. The last time this occurred ...
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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 it possible to communicate in space while the sun is between parties?

If a hypothetical space colony were on the other side of the sun from earth, would it be possible for them to communicate? If so how would this work? The only thing I can think of would be bouncing ...
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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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What does the ISS Mission control center do?

This related question asks about Mission Control's responsibilities during a hurricane. But there's a more general question underneath: what do the people in Mission Control do, what are their ...
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754 views

How is a space probe's antenna directed toward Earth?

I wonder how is it possible to direct the probe's antenna from enormous distances (like Pluto) toward the Earth. Because if even an extremely small inclination in antenna direction emerge, it will ...
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How many earth stations had astronauts on-site during John Glenn's orbit in Friendship-7?

The Washington Post just republished it's February 21, 1962 article covering the launch, Earth orbit, and safe re-entry and recovery of (Senator) John H. Glenn, in recognition of his service and ...
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Have guidelines for red & green navigation light placement on spacecraft been established?

update: Cropped screen capture from SpaceX Demo-1 Crew Dragon Docking to ISS - Part 2 after about 00:25:00 in the video: I am curious if guidelines for the ...
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Are there discussions or plans for extending the internet into space beyond Earth?

Many years ago I remember reading about the upcoming implementation of the internet protocol IPv6 - which is now in place. In that article it mentioned that there was some discussion about space - I ...
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How will NavCube (actually) be important for the XCOM testing and demonstration?

According to the NASA news article NASA’s NavCube Could Support an X-ray Communications Demonstration in Space — A NASA First: The new technology, called NavCube, combines NASA’s SpaceCube, a ...
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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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Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) for TV broadcast

Is ISL used for TV carriers? The information I found is that it is used for IP connectivity. I did not find any information on TV broadcast. If not, what are the applications of ISL?
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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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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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Is there any way to communicate with Pioneer 11 through Voyager 1 or 2?

The position of Pioneer 11 is between Voyager 1 and 2, that means Pioneer 11 is closer to Voyager 1 and 2 than to Earth. According to the Wikipedia article on Pioneer 11 we lost communication with it ...
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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 ...