Questions tagged [communication]

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

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11
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2answers
323 views

How will Enceladus' ice-burrowing probe communicate?

I've heard a lot of people talk about sending a probe to Enceladus (one of Saturn's natural satellites). It would drill (or melt ice) to burrow through the thick layer of ice and get to the water ...
21
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
352 views

What type of data did New Horizons send to Earth in order to diagnose the switch to Safe Mode issue?

Recently, the New Horizons spacecraft on its way to Pluto suffered a "hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence." Does that mean that it was a multi-threading error or something ...
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2answers
214 views

Is it possible to make an Internet of Things device that works locally on Mars?

I know this is a weird question. I can't find a radiation hardened microcontroller (μC) that does Bluetooth Low Energy or even WiFi. Is there any reason this would not work on Mars, if a radiation ...
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2answers
29k views

Why wasn't there a communication delay when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon? [closed]

My understanding is that there was supposed to be a delay between the communication from the moon to Earth. Why were the communication instantaneous?
6
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1answer
426 views

Emergency plan for Soyuz missions

Recent ISS Cargo delivery via Progress ship was a failure, and it seems that Russian mission control lost the cargo ship completely. Since Progress ship is basically the same design as Soyuz: What ...
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3answers
2k views

Which lagrange (earth-moon) point is better for a space settlement?

Which among the Earth-Moon Lagrange points (EML1, EML2, EML3, EML4, EML5) is best for a permanent space settlement which requires materials from the moon for construction? Some say it's EML4 for ...
5
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1answer
460 views

Were the Voyager Golden Record / Arecibo message tested for decodability

I was wondering if the microgroove golden records they put on the Voyager spacecraft, or the Arecibo message, along with instruction on how to decode it, were first put to the test with the subjects ...
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1answer
111 views

Could a planet, moon, or comet having a high concentration of a certain metal disrupt radio transmission?

I have been researching how metals affect radio transmission but have not found anything conclusive to the specific scope about planet density if it is mostly metal. One of the posts that I found ...
6
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1answer
236 views

Cubesat communication services

Is there any known web-based API services that provide downlink/uplink testing facilities to some Cubesat? I don't want to have full hardware setup: antenna, sdr, auxiliary equipment. In same time, ...
15
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3answers
6k views

Why do ISS astronauts use lower quality microphones for official radio communication than for PR events?

In the first seconds of this video you can see/hear ISS astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti prepare for a PR event: During the preparation she uses two different ...
5
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1answer
97 views

Range Measurement from Range signal downlink

How is accurate time of round-travel determined from downlinked ranging signal? AFAIK Ranging signal, used to determine distance of a spacecraft is usually a reference wave modulated and uplinked, ...
6
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2answers
832 views

Why aren't landers designed to point their solar panels and radio antennas to Sun and Earth?

Opportunity, the rover on Mars, is on its tenth year. Wow! But its solar panels are fixed flat on top of it. As are those of all interplanetary landers which I know of. Why aren't they designed to ...
4
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1answer
310 views

Why can't infomation be transmitted during descent?

Apparently, no information could pass through plasma, therefore during descent of spacecraft, no information can be transmitted. Why so?
8
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1answer
342 views

How useful could lighter-than-air tethered balloons be on Mars for radio and navigation?

I was reading in 'How could one navigate on Mars' about communications satellites, and it got me thinking about radio relay and navigation infrastructure. Pure nitrogen is an inert lifting gas in the ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Would it be practical to use a rover with a cable to a power and communication station?

Geology Dr. Paul Spudis (who was on the Clementine Lunar orbiter mission) has an interesting step-by-step proposal for exploration of potentially extractable water ice at the Lunar poles. It includes ...
9
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1answer
595 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
921 views

Communication Blackout

All the atmospheric entry missions endure a communication blackout. What parameters except plasma penetration frequency affect the blackout time and how ? Also, Comm Blackout states that space ...
16
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
162 views

Did the tail of Siding Spring distort communication between Mars, and Earth?

This article writes to say There was an hour’s communication blackout during the comet’s fly-by ... What happened here? Did the tail of Siding Spring serve to block/distort communication between ...
6
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1answer
161 views

What is the intensity of radio noise around Jupiter and Saturn?

What is the intensity of radio noise around Jupiter or Saturn on various frequencies compared to Earth? Does it significantly affect bandwidth for communication of satellites around Jupiter/Saturn ...
8
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4answers
486 views

Is there a means to communicate with robots on/around Mars whilst the Sun is between Mars & Earth?

A brief follow-up to What will MOM do when Earth isn't looking? As already premised in the referenced question; terrestrial artifacts on/around Mars encounter a communications blackout every 26 ...
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0answers
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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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0answers
170 views

Is each instrument on ISRO MOM independently in 24x7 contact with Earth?

The ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission web-site writes to say Mars Orbiter Mission carries five scientific payloads to observe Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere extending up to 80,000 km for a ...
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2answers
25k views

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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2answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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1answer
560 views

How do non-Earth-facing vehicles communicate with Earth?

I know that many artificial satellites are tide-locked with Earth, which allows them to always face a directional antenna towards their ground station. But some vehicles, such as space telescopes, and ...
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3answers
2k views

Is long range radio communication possible on the lunar surface?

There are such things as moon-bounce communication whereby radio signals are 'bounced' off the lunar surface to a distant location on Earth. This mechanism may be likened to the way a mirror reflects ...
21
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1answer
4k views

Do astronauts go on a random banter with mission control like in the film 'Gravity'?

In the film 'Gravity', astronauts can be seen having casual chat with mission control. Do astronauts do that in real life? Do they have any specific policy that states what can be communicated over ...
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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
1k views

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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3answers
6k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
842 views

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, ...
8
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1answer
509 views

Has Earth ever sent out a repeating signal into space?

My understanding is that for us to confirm that a signal is of artificial origin, we have to get the same signal at least twice. However, as far as I can tell, most of the signals we've sent out to ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How does radar calibration using LEO orbited calibration spheres work?

On December 28, 2013 two Russian SKRL-756 calibration sphere satellites will be launched during the maiden flight of the Soyuz-2.1v, a brand new lightweight derivative of the Soyuz launch vehicle, ...
8
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
795 views

Which LEO missions are currently supported by NASA's DSN (and why)?

NASA's Deep Space Network, a collection of antennae throughout the globe, is sometimes used to support earth-orbiting missions: The NASA Deep Space Network - or DSN - is an international network of ...
10
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1answer
238 views

What is the rationale behind the allocation of micro-wave bands for space communication?

The onus for Spectrum management lies with ITU. What little I know - Space communications (as against Satellite communication) are allocated frequencies out of the S, X bands. Other bands may be ...
11
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1answer
405 views

Do lunar landers communicate with ground stations during descent and landing?

In about one day China's Chang'e 3 will land on the moon in a fully autonomous way, which is pretty exciting and I think especially the autonomous hazard avoidance system is just amazing. However, I ...
6
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1answer
165 views

How would critical refractivity of radio waves on Venus be overcome?

Rereading my answer here and in particular, rereading the article Optical and Radio Refraction on Venus (Stratton, 1968) it is my understanding that there is significant refraction of radio waves, as ...
98
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3answers
90k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
482 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
269 views

Where can I find relevant papers describing the cryptographic algorithm(s) and/or techniques used within KY-171 and KY-172?

The KY-171 Audio Frequency Coder was used for the NASA Project Mercury (1958-1963) to encode radio traffic between ground stations, as well as between ground stations and the space capsule. It was ...
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2answers
1k views

What language does ISRO use for radio communication?

Wikipedia lists both Hindi and English as the official languages of ISRO. But what language does ISRO use for radio communication? Say they launch a manned mission, which language would they use to ...
21
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2answers
2k views

What is the procedure if communication with the ISS is lost for an extended period?

Between ground control and the ISS there is the occasional short communications loss which they are obviously able to deal with, but is there a procedure to follow if the communication is lost for ...
15
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1answer
763 views

Resilience to data transmission errors of the Juno spacecraft

What techniques have been employed for the Juno spacecraft to successfully transmit data packets back to Earth once she's in a polar orbit around Jupiter? Jupiter is a strong source of radio ...
4
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2answers
849 views

Commercial TDRSS alternatives?

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) is a space-based relay system at geostationary orbit. If one has, for instance, a LEO mission, and one's coverage requirements can not be met by ...
10
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
15
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1answer
720 views

What, if any, mechanisms prevent unauthorized commands?

Since deep space probes and satellites receive commands from Earth via radio, what prevents unauthorized commands from being accepted by such devices? For deep space probes, the required power of ...
8
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3answers
2k views

How would we communicate over light years?

Anyone who has been in an email conversation where the chain split into different threads, or has been in chat where they receive two diverging comments requiring a response before a reply to the ...