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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27
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2answers
986 views

How will the closure of the Arecibo dish impact deep space communications?

Earlier today, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced that it is decommissioning the Arecibo radio telescope. The 305 meter dish is famous for the 1974 message for extra-terrestrial ...
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Will future deep space optical communications “ground stations” actually be in space, or on the ground?

Deep space communications ground stations are on the ground because their transmit and receive electronics alone is bulky and heavy, not to mention their 34 and 70 meter dish antennas! But those ...
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Why was Canberra able to listen to Voyager 2 but not talk to it?

The New York Times's When Voyager 2 Calls Home, Earth Soon Won’t Be Able to Answer explains that because Voyager 2's trajectory has taken it way below the ecliptic, of the three 70 meter dishes in the ...
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Has Same Beam Interference (SBI) been used or at least tested at Mars? Are there plans to use it in the next few years?

Section 5.4 of Descanso I, Radiometric Tracking Techniques for Deep-Space Navigation by Catherine L. Thornton and James S. Border titled Future directions in Radiometric Tracking; Same Beam ...
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How does one test Ground Segment communications with, and “downlink” data from a spacecraft that's still on the ground?

NASA News item Ground Segment Testing a Success for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope says: Testing teams have successfully completed a critical milestone focused on demonstrating that NASA’s James ...
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Does NASA's Deep Space Network sometimes listen to other space agencies' spacecraft “just for the heck of it” or other non-mission related reasons?

This answer mentions: It's well known that other countries routinely spy on each other (i.e. the NSA tapping of Angela Merkel's phone). NASA's Deep Space Network's space-related activities (like ...
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If the ESA has its own deep space network, why does it use NASA's?

The European Space Agency has its own network for communicating for spacecraft in deep space, ESTRACK. It has stations distributed around the globe: Nonetheless, several ESA missions use NASA's Deep ...
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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 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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Is it common for the Deep Space Network to contact a TDRS satellite?

As I write this, one of the Madrid dishes of the Deep Space Network is in contact with TDRS satellite #13. I've never seen DSN contact a TDRS satellite before. I thought that system has its own ...
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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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How high is the first Deep Space Atomic Clock orbiting? Does it receive radiation equivalent to that in deep space?

The Livescience article NASA's Tiny New Atomic Clock Could Let Spacecraft Drive Themselves in Deep Space says: But the radiation still changes the way the electronics operate. And those changes ...
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Autonomous Navigation for deep space missions

Autonomous navigation started in early phases of deep space exploration as a provision to achieve accuracy for planet/natural satellite targeting and approach, where radio tracking accuracies were low,...
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1answer
821 views

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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In terms of satellite networks What exactly are RTSWnet/AFSCN and CDAS (NEN, DSN as needed)? Are they like TDRS but for strictly military data?

Question: In terms of satellite networks What exactly are RTSWnet/AFSCN and CDAS (NEN, DSN as needed)? Are they like TDRS but for strictly military data? BACKGROUND: In this answer to Why Are EPIC/...
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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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328 views

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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1answer
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How can the download speed increase from space probes?

It always seems to be a genuine question that is How can we download data from far away probes in instant. When New Horizons reached Ultima Thule, it took us quite a few months to have a great picture ...
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1answer
462 views

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 question How well can Voyager 1 separate Earth signals from Solar ...
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Will CHEOPS use DSN or ESA ground stations, or both?

The new ESA video Cheops: Europe's exoplanet mission shows an animation of the space telescope communicating with a ground station somewhere in central Spain. The Deep Space Network indeed has a ...
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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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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 is the data from the three DSN sites transmitted to JPL, NASA and vice-versa?

We know that there are three major Deep Space Network (DSN) sites on Earth, roughly $120^{\circ}$ apart, to communicate with space probes in deep space continuously. All the data from the three DSN ...
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What are the operating systems and network stack in the Chandrayaan - 2 vehicles?

I am trying to find the information about the operating systems that are run in all of the Chandrayaan - 2 vehicles, the orbiter, lander and Rover. Are these just firmwares? Or how are different ...
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Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander communications with Earth (IDSN)

In the Seeker video India Could Be the First to Land on the Moon’s South Pole a bit after 04:20 the narrator says: Okay, well right about now you’re probably ...
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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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Why does NASA use higher frequencies even though they have worse Free Space Path Loss (FSPL)?

Looking at the Formula for FSPL we see that it increases with Frequency. Why is X-Band used for Deep Space Communications instead of lower bands like S-Band? Is it a question of data-rates? Is the ...
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1answer
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Deep Space Network's transmitter power versus frequency?

Just a general question: In regards to the Deep Space Network antennas, how does power from the transmitter of the antenna relate to the frequency used? I believe the antennas use X band frequency for ...
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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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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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How does a third DSN station serves as a “relay” to tie-together observations by two other stations doing VLBI?

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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Does a deep space network benefit by having a diversity of latitudes?

When placing ground stations for a deep space communications network, there is a well-established benefit to spreading out the stations by longitude. In particular, having at least three stations ...
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How often has weather interfered with the Deep Space Network?

This answer provides some information about the potential that precipitation can interfere with signals of the Deep Space Network. In practice, how often (a count, ratio or percent) has weather ...
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Deep Space Network implementation?

I am interested in understanding the Deep Space Network (DSN), mainly from a network perspective and how it handles the challenges of high latency communication. On Earth, for example we can use ...
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857 views

What is the numbering system used for the DSN dishes?

The title "What is the numbering system used for the DSN dishes?" pretty much sums it up. DSN dishes are referenced by seemingly arbitrary numbers: 14, 55, 36, etc... Do these numbers carry any ...
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
201 views

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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1answer
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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 ...