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Questions tagged [deep-space-network]

Deep Space Network is a series of communication antennas around the world used for communication with deep space spacecraft.

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What is considered a good SNR for satellites?

When performing a link budget for satellite communications, a key component is defining an acceptable signal-to-noise-ratio in order to obtain the necessary bit-rate. How does one determine what the ...
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If a MarCO-type CubeSat were in orbit around Bennu, what kind of power would it need to communicate with the Deep Space Network?

This is a follow-up question to: What is the lowest power signal that the DSN can detect? Essentially, I have determined that the asteroid Bennu (ranging from 25 to 350 million kilometers from Earth) ...
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What is the lowest power signal that the DSN can detect?

It is said that the Deep Space Network can detect low-power signals sent from Voyager in the range of 10^-16 W. I can't seem to find any sources that indicate what the minimum power requirement of a ...
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How did NASA's Deep Space Network encode and broadcast music to Opportunity?

@Ingolifs's answer to the question What was the last message to Opportunity today (13 Feb '19)? quotes ArsTechnica's Opportunity did not answer NASA’s final call, and it’s now lost to us: Late ...
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Understanding shape of DSN's 'kinky uplink protocol' keeping frequency in coherent transponder's optimum bandpass?

This tweet by deep space SDR enthusiast and amateur radio operator Edgar Kaiser @df2mz shows a squiggly tone from MRO. Mars Reconnaiscance Orbiter (MRO) X-band downlink. The signal shows this ...
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Why is the operating temperature for the Voyagers' receiver noise calculation about 1550K?

In line 10 of Table 5.2 of DESCANSO IV - Voyager Telecommunications it shows a value of the uplink receiver noise spectral density of -166.7 dBm/Hz, which is 196.7 dBW/Hz which is 2.1E-20 Watts/Hz = $...
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Did New Horizons use its smaller medium-gain antenna for most/all downlinking of Pluto and Ultima Thule flyby data?

Brian May's New Horizons video (below) was released at about the same time that the New Horizions spacecraft passed 2014 MU69 Ultima Thule and includes a lot of technically meaningful graphics. One ...
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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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How many hours each day is Mars reachable by 2 of the 3 DSN complexes?

NASA communicates with spacecraft beyond Earth orbit using the Deep Space Network, which has three complexes: Canberra, Australia; Goldstone, California; and Madrid, Spain. There are many spacecraft ...
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Understanding the information contained in the Deep Space Network XML data?

NASA's Deep Space Network activity can be viewed conveniently at https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html but if you would like data in a more raw XML form, it can be accessed as described in this answer ...
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Two DSN stations used in VLBI measurement; how a third station serves as a “relay” to tie-together observations?

Section 2.1 of the DESCANSO document 211 Wideband Very-Long Baseline Interferometry (from here, found here) says: The precision of a VLBI measurement improves with the length of the baseline. The ...
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Power and frequency units used in Deep Space Network XML data?

NASA's Deep Space Network activity can be viewed conveniently at https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html but if you would like data in a more raw XML form, it can be accessed as described in this answer ...
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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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Has JPL been affected by the November 2018 California wildfires?

The Deep Space Network Now page shows no activity at all. Two hours ago, there was only testing on two of the Madrid dishes (so it's more than a faulty webpage). I've never seen anything like it ...
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How many solar system bodies have had coherent radio transponders?

A transponder amplifies, (often) frequency-shifts, and rebroadcasts a received signal. Old-style telephone and TV distribution satellites in GEO used simple transponders to rebroadcast the uplinked ...
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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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What's the largest area dish antenna sent beyond the Earth-Moon system?

In the same vein as the question What's the largest aperture telescope sent beyond the Earth-Moon system?, I'd like to ask, what's the largest area antenna dish sent beyond the Earth-Moon system? If ...
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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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Juno RF power output

What is the RF Power Output from Juno into its Parabolic dish, and the RF radiated out from the dish and the eventual power received say at the dish in Canberra which obviously then would need to be ...
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Missions at or soon-to-be at Mars and their DSN “codenames”?

I'm "mining" old DSN data and would like to see all communications with spacecraft around Mars. A quick snapshot in their data shows the following codes. I can guess that ...
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Technology to directly observe an exoplanets [closed]

I would like to know what number of space telescopes, ideally mass produced ones using current technology and that could be cheaply manufactured and launched en-mass via the future SpaceX BFR. How ...
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What exactly is the interaction that blocked Juno's data downlink near solar conjunction?

According to Space.com's article Juno Phones Home: Jupiter Probe Reconnects with Earth After 8th Flyby, Juno's recent close flyby of Jupiter and data collection happened while Jupiter was too close to ...
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How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations?

How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations? For example we can go on NASA's website and look at the real time data for the mission status of their past ...
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What is the highest non-optical frequency used or tested for use in deep space communication?

For dish antennas used to transmit a signal over large distances, the on-axis gain scales as $D^2/ \lambda^2$ or $D^2 f^2 / c^2$ where $\lambda$ and $f$ are the wavelength or frequency and $c$ is the ...
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What was happening with the DSN/ Cassini?

I decided that I wanted to see DSN receive the last bits of data from DSN Now. The last data was supposed to be received at about 7:55. The signal seemed to continue strong until about 10 minutes ...
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Why does the word “Mars” shows up in google maps when viewing the Goldstone DSN complex?

In the Wikipedia page for the Goldstone DSN complex there are coordinates. If you click them it takes you to GeoHack. I copies the decimal coordinates there ...
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Signals to a deep space network

First of all, sorry for the general context of the question but I’m very inexperienced. I hope I'm not breaking the rules. Simplifying, in the short sci-fi novel I’m writing there’s a super-...
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What type of comms traffic for deep-space missions needs to be prioritized?

I am currently studying DSN related stuff, and for that purpose, I need to know some details. I am currently studying the Deep Space Network, and I am trying to get a better picture of how DSN ...
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Why doesn't thermal radio emission from a DSN “hot dish” completely swamp the benefits of a cold LNA?

The 70 meter DSN dishes are often used to receive the weakest signals, and so their receiver LNAs have cryogenic front-ends in an assembly that also contains a LHe refrigerator and vacuum system. If I ...
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What are the main sources of radio noise & interference limiting deep space data rates and availability?

Let's call "radio" anything electromagnetic below 300 GHz (1 millimeter), unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. The as yet unanswered question How well can Voyager 1 separate Earth ...
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How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us?

How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us? What things do we study for tracking purpose? How exactly do we predict?
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How can the data rate be increased in the space which is full of noise?

I am curious to know what can we do to improve the data rate in the space? I see that there are some noise sources in the Space that affect the signal quality between ground stations & deep space. ...
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Is delay-doppler radar imaging of NEO asteroids possible only if it spins fast enough?

Emily Lakdawalla's blog on the Planetary Society's page explains some of the basic principles in the delay-doppler radar imaging of asteroids, and other astronomical bodies by extension. Radar from a ...
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How do landers communicate with Earth when facing away?

For example, how do the Mars landers communicate when Mars is between them and the Earth? The MRO is in a low orbit; does it store and forward data?
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Is Deep Space Network (DSN) technology sufficient for a crewed Mars mission?

Almost every single space enthusiast is excited about a Mars mission and when we are sending our scientists there. But from the communications point of view, are we ready to test the recent ...
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What makes time on the DSN so expensive?

David Hammen wrote in a comment on Why there is not a single orbiter for Uranus or Neptune? that: The two Voyager satellites still receive multiple Deep Space Network contacts per week, each of ...
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How have/how will Indian ground stations be used for comms or tracking of deep space spacecraft?

I have a few data points, but not the big picture. 19-10-2016, the Giant Metre Wave Telescope was used to monitor the doppler shift of a beacon signal from the Schiaparelli spacecraft as it descended ...
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Why was the 100m Green Bank dish needed together with DSN's 70m Goldstone dish to detect Chandrayaan-1 in lunar orbit?

The Phys.org article New NASA radar technique finds lost lunar spacecraft describes the use of radar to relocate two spacecraft that were in orbit around the moon but who's orbit had not been actively ...
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How could a private organization ensure access to communications with a deep space probe or rover?

Regarding a private organization what would be there options for communication with a probe or rover in deep space such as Mars or farther. Would they be able to use the Deep Space Network? If so what ...
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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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Weather forecasts of upcoming passes

Does NASA currently use weather forecasts of an upcoming passes to assign appropriate channel data rate with Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Odyssey Orbiter (ODY)? I was looking at DSN ...
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Will Exo Mars serve as a relay for non ESA/Roscosmos missions?

I know that Exo Mars TGO is intended to be a relay for Exo Mars Schiaparelli and Exo Mars Rover. However the orbiter could also serve as a relay for other missions. Is there currently any plan for ...
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Overlap in the incoming and outgoing Deep Space Station’s (DSS's) uplink/downlink windows

I want to create an antenna array of DSS-25 of Goldstone Deep space Communication Complex (DSCC) and DSS-35 of Canberra complex to communicate with Mars Reconnoissance Orbiter (MRO). Suppose that DSS-...
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Is it possible for the Deep Space Network to use MSPA and antenna arraying simultaneously?

Suppose Mars Odyssey (ODY) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are being tracked by antenna A (just for example) at the Goldstone Deep Space Network complex in MSPA mode. Is it possible for ...
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Would an orbital Deep Space Network be more efficient?

Deep Space Network sites in California, Madrid and Canberra perform an excellent job, for example receiving from Voyager 2 (16+ billion km) at -150 dBm power. However, would it be more advantageous ...
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Why does DSN sometimes uses two dishes at the same time to receive Voyager-1?

I just looked at the Deep Space Network site DSN Now at https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html and I saw that both dish numbers 25 and 26 are receiving a 8.42 GHz downlink signal from Voyager 1. Both ...
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Is there any publicly available logging, or “Wayback Machine” for DSN Now activity?

This question and especially this comment address activity associated with the Juno mission, both circa arrival, and the relatively quiet transit period to Jupiter. The idea is that there may have ...
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How is long-distance optical communications coming along in space?

I remember there was a test of optical communication and some data transfer from lunar orbit to earth, and I think the ISS uploaded (or downloaded-up? which is correct here?) a movie from earth. In ...
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What do the different “Testing” codes mean on NASA's Deep Space Network website?

If you haven't seen it, you can monitor the status of the Deep Space Network's radio dishes (which communicate with pretty much all of our space probes and satellites) from this website. At times, ...