Questions tagged [ground-station]

Questions relating to the ground based radio station used for receiving and or sending commands to spacecraft.

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Are the TLE of a satellite computed with the ECI or ECEF?

I want to compute the distance of a certain satellite, given the TLE, to a ground station in the earth. I have the latitude, longitude and altitude of the ground station. But I don't know if the TLEs ...
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Can we watch the object move towards the Moon and hit it this week at home? Will there be live telescope feeds?

I'm not even going to name the object because there's been some variability and excitement in its identification (DSCOVR 2nd stage, no not DSCOVR, it's Chinese, no not that Chinse rocket body, this ...
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What kind of signals and encodings were used to send tilt/pan commands to TV cameras on the Moon (up through Apollo)?

This answer to Has anyone in space beyond LEO seen or has anything photographed a non-pointer laser from Earth? shows a frame from video shot by Surveyor 7 on the Moon, looking at Earth, and ...
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Why does this "satellite antenna at the Laguna Peak Tracking and Injection Facility" look so weird? (two dishes back-to-back)

The video 1967 Navy Satellite Navigation training film (IBM 7094 data center) after 11:57 (older version here) the narrator says: For every pound of satellite in ...
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Exact speed/distance of JWST (& others in L1/L2 halo) from Earth; is it measured any differently than for more distant deep-space missions?

How is the exact speed and distance from Earth of the JWST or any spacecraft in a Sun-Earth L1/L2 halo orbit determined? While deep space missions require ranging at hundreds of millions of kilometers ...
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What antennas does JAXA use to communicate with its deep space spacecraft? Does it have a deep space network of its own?

@BrendanLuke's answer to Are there currently any spacecraft in orbit around Venus that might (or might not) be at risk of meteoric dust from comet Leonard C/2021 A? alludes to the exciting story of ...
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Who designed the cool-looking Orbita Molniya tracking station at Khabarovsk? What does it look like inside?

Wikipedia's Orbita (TV system) says: Orbita (Russian: орбита) is a Soviet-Russian system of broadcasting and delivering TV signals via satellites. It is considered to be the first national network of ...
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How exactly did ground stations track the early Molniya satellites?

Wikipedia's Orbita (TV system) says: Orbita (Russian: орбита) is a Soviet-Russian system of broadcasting and delivering TV signals via satellites. It is considered to be the first national network of ...
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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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How should we point our SpaceX Starlink ground transceiver antennas?

I don't have one of course, but I see that the Starlink ground transceiver antennas are flat but "pointable" to some extent. I assume but don't know for sure that there's at least some kind ...
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How does China (CASC or CAST) solve Groundsegment?

I was studying Queqiao space mission and I found a lot about how is Tracking, Telemetry and Command or TT&C solved for space component, but not how is secured Space-Ground connectivity - what type ...
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Difference between collecting satellite data and tracking its position

When people talk about "tracking" a satellite, do they generally mean receiving data / communication from it, or do they mean determining its position. When an organisation sends a satellite ...
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How is satellite position tracked in practice?

How do the increasing number of LEO satellites keep track of their position? I know they use ground stations, but do they employ private companies to keep track for them? It seems like there are way ...
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If the Earth spun clockwise, would Florida have still satisfied the requirements for the US launch center in the 1960's?

In a comment under the question If the Earth spun clockwise, how would that affect Space Exploration? I wrote: Kennedy Space Center would be a lot closer to JPL; not sure what all happens with the ...
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Does every satellite operator build and operate their own ground station?

I'm thinking especially of small-time operators. Like if a high school team puts a cubesat into space, do they also put an antenna on the school building and just put up with limited accessibility ...
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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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What happens differently when ISS is inside this red boundary (Russia & Europe & ...)?

The question Why are there advertisements in the Russian ISS flight control room? shows the image below. There is a large red boundary that looks like the boundary of the overlap of several circles ...
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Why did Mercury use multiple CAPCOMs while Apollo did not?

A spacecraft needs multiple receiving stations to prevent its radio signals from being blocked by Earth. Wikipedia has a map of the ground stations used for the Mercury missions. The Right Stuff ...
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Which map is right? Where exactly were the two Australian dish antennas used in the Apollo missions?

There are two answers to How did NASA achieve their live TV broadcast in 1969? and each has a map that denotes the location of the following two sites Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station Parkes Radio ...
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Did Australian ground stations cover other Apollo missions' first steps?

It is quite well-publicized that the TV broadcast of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon were received by the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station in Australia, because that was the side of the ...
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What kind of transmitters and antennas do the Lightsail-2 ground stations use?

The cubesat Lightsail-2 has been deployed and has communicated with ground stations. See The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 Healthy as Mission Team Continues Spacecraft Checkouts, where it says: ...
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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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"Luckily with no Lunar Module, Tidbinbilla was able to keep tracking with no interruption..." Why is no LM significant?

@PearsonArtPhoto's answer links to the page Apollo 8, 21 – 28 December 1968 by Hamish Lindsay at honeysucklecreek.net. The page describes a problem with one of the dish antennas that needed to be ...
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How to determine the optimal orbit for a LEO satellite

Our goal is to determine the best orbit that will allow a ground station (so this is a fixed point on earth) to communicate a maximum number of times par day with a LEO satellite. So the question is :...
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How to calculate the angle between the satellite and ground station?

I have the latitude/longitude/altitude of a satellite and a ground station. Also, I have their Cartesian coordinates in Earth-centered-Earth-fixed frame (ECEF). How to calculate the elevation angle ...
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How can you calculate the minimal cone angle between two satellites to prevent interference?

I have a model of 2 ground stations (G1 and G2) and 2 LEO satellites (S1 and S2). G1 and G2 are located close to each other. S1 transmits data to G1 and S2 transmits to G2 with almost the same ...
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How does the Satellite Networked Open Ground Station operate? How is it used?

SatNOGS, the Satellite Networked Open Ground Station (mentioned in this answer) appears to be a distribution of independently maintained amateur DIY satellite receiving ground stations, linked by a ...
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What is the Telescope Invariant Point?

I am working on an implementation of an SLR tool. At some points of the documentation of the CRD format the term telescope invariant point shows up. Apparently it's a point on an ILRS antenna system. ...
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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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Standardized download message formatting [closed]

MESSAGE FORMATTING Ground station networks exist that invite registered satellite clients to utilize their provided fee based download and ...
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How long is the ISS out of reach of all ground stations?

This is a followup to a recent question and answer discussing ground-based monitoring of the International Space Station, specifically in the context of an astronaut crew that is all asleep. How ...
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Where are earth stations typically located?

What type of ground characteristics make it suitable for a satellite ground station?
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Does NASA have an Army and Air Force Exchange Service?

Considering the relativity of military at NASA, the question here is "Does NASA have it's own Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), or does it share with the Department of Defense?" The AAFES ...
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5 votes
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What types of activities are performed when managing a probe in transit?

This question got me thinking - what types of activities are routinely performed when a probe is in a long transit (like Juno, for example)? What does the staffing typically look like? Does one (or a ...
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Drawing ground station coverage circles

I'm trying to make a little application to draw ground station coverage circles (before anyone suggests using other software, I enjoy making these kinds of things myself!) I already have code that ...
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Would it be possible to get back to Earth from the ISS without any ground support?

In the TV show Last Man On Earth we follow a small group of immune survivors after an apocalyptic plague has essentially wiped out humanity. It is revealed that a single astronaut on the ISS has also ...
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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, ...
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5 votes
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What are the benefits of building an amateur satellite ground station?

Amateur radio hardware is reasonably expensive. Are there any real scientific benefits for universities to build these stations (assuming the don't have a satellite in orbit)? I know there's some ...
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Conversion of satellite position coordinates to local horizon reference frame (lat & long)

I'm currently working on a bit of code to calculate satellite passes for a ground station. I've found a variety of references that discuss the conversion form other coordinate reference frames to the ...
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Diurnal Signature of Earth in Angular state tracking

'Diurnal signature of the earth related to the the rotation of the earth is utilized and 24 hours of amplitude and phase data is used along with Ranging and Doppler shift data to calculate Angular ...
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Why did ISRO require additional tracking ships in the South Pacific for its MOM mission?

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) so far never before used additional marine vessels to help track their launch vehicles, as an extension to the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN). So why did it ...
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How much does it cost to operate a satellite in orbit? [closed]

A satellite mission goes through different phases: planning, building, launch, operation. I was wondering what percentage of the whole cost is consumed by the operation and maintenance of a satellite ...
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How do Russia, China, Japan, and India track their spacecraft?

NASA and the ESA have Deep Space Networks that circle the globe enabling them to track their spacecraft constantly. However, Russia, China, India, and possibly also Japan, only list tracking stations ...
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Techniques to reduce radio interference or noise

As a member of a pulsar search team that works through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, I've noticed that many data plots (except the tests) are radio frequency interference (RFI) or noise. As a ...
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