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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11
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5answers
863 views

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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2answers
641 views

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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1answer
916 views

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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1answer
402 views

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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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
450 views

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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2answers
341 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 ...
4
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2answers
522 views

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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1answer
114 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
567 views

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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3answers
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How much RF transmit power does DSN need to send commands to Voyager?

I recently looked up how weak the Voyager signals are when they get to Earth from the 22 W transmitters (as of September 2013, it was roughly -245 dBm). But that got me wondering how many watts of ...
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1answer
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How hard is it to receive direct signals from vehicles on the surface of Mars, and has anyone other than the DSN done so?

Almost all communication from vehicles on the surface of Mars is relayed by spacecraft in orbit around Mars. However vehicles on the surface do communicate directly with Earth. This communication, ...
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1answer
789 views

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
350 views

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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4answers
758 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
463 views

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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1answer
204 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) ...
2
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1answer
87 views

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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2answers
211 views

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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2answers
2k 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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1answer
3k views

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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1answer
671 views

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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1answer
712 views

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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1answer
139 views

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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1answer
315 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
108 views

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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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 ...
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3answers
306 views

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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1answer
480 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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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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2answers
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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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1answer
193 views

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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2answers
651 views

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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0answers
230 views

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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1answer
303 views

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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1answer
220 views

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
158 views

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
51 views

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?

NASA JPL page https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/1999KW4/1999KW4_planning.2019.html says of the radar observations during the close approach of asteroid 1994 KW4 (in part): Update on 2019 May 22: A ...
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1answer
104 views

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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1answer
156 views

How can the data rate be increased in noisy outer space?

What can we do to improve the data rate in outer space? I see that there are some noise sources that affect the signal quality between ground stations & deep space. As I've read so far in various ...
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5answers
2k views

What's stopping space probe communication from being jammed?

Space probes use radio waves to communicate back to Earth - I would imagine a probe sent many decades ago, using very little energy and from very far away would be sending an incredibly weak signal ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
865 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 ...
8
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1answer
565 views

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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2answers
726 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
494 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
287 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
110 views

What is a Beam Waveguide dish and why do deep space communications stations use them?

NASA Spaceflight.com's Deep Space Network upgrades and new antennas increase vital communication capabilities says: NASA’s Deep Space Network, commonly referred to as the DSN, has welcomed a new dish,...
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0answers
136 views

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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0answers
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Tradeoffs between using two 34 m and one 70 m Deep Space Network dish?

Discussion at this answer to Why does DSN sometimes uses two dishes at the same time to receive Voyager-1? include the possibility that in some cases it would be preferable to use two 34 meter DSN ...