Questions tagged [radio-communication]

Using radio wavelengths to communicate between multiple spacecraft or between a spacecraft and the Earth.

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157 views

How large of an antenna would you need to connect to the ISS's WiFi network from Earth?

Supposing I wanted to connect to the ISS's WiFi network from the ground, how large of an antenna would I need to do so, and what kind? Would they need to increase the power on their end or use a ...
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What Soviet signals (if any) attempted to scramble communication and sabotage Apollo missions?

The NPR.org news item and audio podcast JoAnn Morgan: The Only Woman In The Firing Room During Apollo 11 features an excellent interview with JoAnn Morgan and other KSC personal. It's a short but ...
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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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Was “I have the farts, again” broadcast from the Moon to the whole world?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 numbers: Medicine and health says: When Apollo 16 commander John Young walked on the Moon, he shared his feelings on the new diet with his companion Charlie Duke. ...
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How does an onboard atomic clock help interplanetary navigation?

On 2019 June 22, JPL will launch and test the accuracy of an onboard atomic clock. Its FAQ says that it will improve interplanetary navigation because for the ship to determine its position, instead ...
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IRIS Transceiver for LEO Missions?

My professor really wants to know if the IRIS transceiver, which flew on MarCo, will be used in LEO. In fact so much that he doesn't accept "no" for an answer. I have searched for an example but found ...
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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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How would the Voyagers finally die if allowed to transmit to the bitter end?

According to this answer and this question the Voyagers will run out of power to "operate a single instrument" in 2025 for Voyager 2 and a little longer for Voyager 1. It is purported to be the end of ...
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Are the Voyager spacecrafts' X-band TWTAs currently set to high or low transmit power? How often were they changed?

In this answer I discuss that the Voyager spacecraft can be commanded to use either high or low power to transmit to Earth on X-band. Question: Are the Voyager spacecrafts' X-band Traveling Wave Tube ...
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Can I transmit signals from a wristwatch to geostationary orbit?

In comments below this answer to the question Which satellites can hear emergency signals from Scott Kelley's watch? we are (or at least I am) trying to figure out definitively if a wristwatch can ...
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Has any spacecraft ever had the ability to directly communicate with civilian air traffic control?

Should such a contingency become necessary, mission control centers have the ability to contact (e.g. by telephone) civilian or military air traffic control centers, even those located in other ...
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Why not send Voyager 3 and 4 following up the paths taken by Voyager 1 and 2 to re-transmit signals of later as they fly away from Earth?

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecrafts are on their journey out of solar system. They collected so much of important data that helped us understand our solar system. As these spacecrafts moving out of ...
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What is the lowest latency achievable in reliable Earth - Moon communications?

I know that radio waves travel at the speed of light in vacuum so the minimal latency to communicate between Earth and Moon would be about 1.25 second each way. This latency figure will then increase ...
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What kind of signal Voyager 1 is sending to us?

I was reading on wiki about Voyager 1 mission and I found very interesting! One thing I did not manage to find: what is the signal Voyager 1 is sending to us? Is it simply a sinewave or something more ...
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Data Rates and Radios with Satellites [closed]

I am new to using radios and was wondering why do data rates matter when you use a radio to pull info from somewhere else. Also what does it mean when a satellite sends a wide band signal. Thank you ...
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Which company provided communication equipment for Apollo missions in which Neil Armstrong was a part?

In July 1969, the Apollo mission transmitted Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon to millions around the world. Which famous company provided the entire communication equipment for the project?
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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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why do astronauts in the ISS still use wired microphones?

While I watched the DM-1 hatch opening, I noticed that astronauts use the wired microphone to talk to Huston. It was particularly strange seeing that even because during hatch opening, they were ...
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1answer
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What are the trade-offs to use a radio relay orbiter also as a radar science instrument?

Any landed mission could benefit from having an orbiting radio relay satellite to help enhance its data rate to Earth. For polar landers on for example the Moon or Mercury it would be a necessity. For ...
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When scientific and engineering data are sent from space probes, are the signals repeated to minimize transmission error?

I would think that this would be the case. In any one transmission there will be a systematic error due to the fundamentals of the transmitter / receiver. Is there also a transient or stochastic error ...
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How many non-crewed deep-space destinations have had intentional broadcasts of music from Earth?

@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 can one know that Chang'e-4 was in “locked to the Queqiao” from this SDR spectrogram?

Deep space SDR enthusiast and amateur radio operator Edgar Kaiser @df2mz's 28-Dec-2018 tweet says: Chang'e 4 in lunar orbit last night on 8479.77 MHz. The spacecraft seems to be locked to the ...
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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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Hijacked space data, notable instances of recovering images or other goodies from someone else's space mission?

The original of this GIF was tweeted here and I've reconstructed it because I don't know how to post it here (How to show this particular tweeted (GIF?) in a question? - trouble downloading). These ...
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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 is carrier lock and bit lock?

I'm not sure if this question belongs here or in Amateur Radio, but during the acquisition of signal from New Horizons on New Year's Day, I heard the controllers call out "carrier lock", "symbol lock",...
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From whence (what ground stations) do the world's major space agencies receive signals from their missions?

The ISRO web page Ground Segment says: SRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) will be providing support of the TTC ground stations, communications network between ground stations and ...
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Are Hayabusa-2's high gain antenna disks electrically point-able?

Writing this answer I realized that Hayabusa-2 has two very similar looking circular flat disks that serve as it's high gain antennas. One is dedicated to X-band (7-8 GHz) and the other to Ka-band (32 ...
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Is Quantum Entanglement technology possible for interplanetary communication in future to achieve low real-time latency?

There is a small debate over the comment session in NASA Lands InSight on Mars video uploaded by JPL. The 1 minute and a half video is about the essential part of InSight's EDL event cropped out from ...
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Does Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter require “reprogramming” when handling communications for newer spacecraft or landers?

While I was going through the question What happens to Insight's parachute? I learned of the role of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to provide reliable communication between other Mars spacecraft and/...
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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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Function and nature of the RHC/LCH pair of cables to New Horizons's dish antenna secondary mirror?

Spaceflight 101's New Horizons Spacecraft Overview is full of interesting information and shows this RF Comm System Block Diagram. The thin (red) lines to the dish antenna area are coaxial cables and ...
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How will “InSight's onboard communications gear perform a radio-science experiment to shed further light on Mars' innards?” (Space.com)

The Space.com article How NASA Mars Lander's 'Steampunk' Claw Will Work (Video) says: InSight's mission aims to provide a detailed look at Mars' interior structure and composition. The lander ...
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Is two-way communication really required to use BeiDou GNSS?

The BBC's How China's GPS 'rival' Beidou is plotting to go global mentions a scenario where end-users can send signals to other Earth locations using BeiDou and later says: But despite its ...
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Which satellites can hear emergency signals from Scott Kelley's watch?

In this July 2018 tweet by Cdr. Scott Kelley, with the north face of Mt. Everest over his shoulder, he mentions his "Emergency" watch. I've searched and then found the Hodinkee.com article Hands-On: ...
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How does this antenna work, with both a feed horn and hyperbolic secondary in front of the dish?

Scrolling through the Roscosmos twitter feed I saw this image of a dish antenna in a recent tweet. Google translate shows that the post says: Новый измерительный пункт будет построен на Сахалине ...
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Which is stronger per Hz, radio signals from a Mars spacecraft, or Mars' blackbody radiation?

It just occurred to me that while Mars is cold from a human's perspective, from a radio engineer's perspective it's still kind-of hot. When even the largest DSN antennas are pointed at Mars to ...
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Why have four parabolas on a ground-side array instead of just a single large one

An article on RT: Russia to stop ferrying US astronauts to ISS from April 2019, is accompanied by a photo of a ground-side radio array consisting of four separate parabolas merged into one pointable ...
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What are the prospects for comms with cubesats using “normal” internet connections?

Can a cubesat in orbit be operated like a R/C airplane in real time? edit: if the link here and the end aren't clear, I'm interested in the ease and convenience of access, the frequency of possible ...
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Is it practical for HF skywave propagation to be utilized for space exploration robot telecommand when outside of microwave/mm wave range?

Is it practical for HF skywave propagation to be utilized for space exploration robot telecommand when outside of microwave/mm wave range? Currently it appears that only the C band and UHF is used in ...
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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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How did NASA prevent third parties from spoofing Apollo communications?

The Apollo crews transmitted footage to Earth using SSTV, a ham radio technique that amateurs and pirates can use to send similar messages around the world. Did NASA have any technical ...
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Feasibility of Interstellar Probe Communication

So, I understand that to transmit information across interstellar distances, you need to use a lot of power (or less bandwidth?), something for example a small space probe wouldn't exactly have. If we ...
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The appearance of TESS' dish seems to be evolving, what will be the final configuration?

The question Why is TESS' high gain antenna made of undulating BLACK fabric rather than metal? has had three bounties, and is probably the recipient of this sites longest answer. My personal pet ...
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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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Do satellite uplink/downlink signals spread or leak into space?

Satellite communication generally involves three types of nodes: the ground station (also known as teleport), the satellite in geosynchronous orbit, and the satellite receiver/transceiver. I am ...
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Have deep-space spacecraft always used some form of spread-spectrum for data downlink?

tl;dr: Question: Have deep-space spacecraft always use some form of spread-spectrum for data downlink? note: I'm looking for some insight into why, and any possible exceptions, not just a "yes" or "...