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20

I realize that the equipment is awfully expensive and probably takes a small army of people to maintain, but that still boils down to a few thousand dollars per hour of radio time ... The cost in 2017 dollars ranges from \$954 per hour of contact for use of a 34 meter High-Speed Beam waveguide antenna to \$4770 per hour of contact for use of a 70 meter ...


18

Check the DSN Now page when it will show any of its stations communicating with Voyager 1 (code VGR1) or Voyager 2 (VGR2), select that dish and then expand the side column on the right to show all the data. It will show transmit power under up signal section. I'll update this answer as soon as I see that happen (see below for updates), but it would be in the ...


16

I found a sort of explanation in "Uplink-Downlink" the NASA history of the DSN. The first digit [range of digits, really, see the table] gives the geographical area. The second digit gives the antenna number within that geographical area. Sometimes the second digit is consistent for an antenna type (23, 33, 53 are OVLBI) but not always.


15

That's a good & fun question; generally, there's a worldbuilding StackExchange sister site especially meant for people trying to build coherent universes. Check it out! Anyway, your question can be reasonably interpreted as "if we have a sporadic transmitter that ground can't schedule, how would it communicate with ESTRACK"; and that's a serious SX ...


13

Let's think about what it would take to do what you're suggesting. The DSN uses some pretty large antennas, so you're talking about putting a 70 meter dish like this (and a power supply to run it) in space: (Source: NASA) You could put it in LEO (because that's much closer and cheaper), but then you have to deal with the Earth occluding it frequently. You ...


13

TLDR; They didn't. I submitted NASA FOIA request 19-JPL-F-00295 asking about this, and they responded: [...] JPL confirmed that the song was not radiated to the spacecraft. It was just played on someone’s laptop in mission control as the transmission began. So it seems the original story's information had sifted through one too many people or stretched ...


12

I submitted a FOIA request for every contact made by the DSN from 2010 onward (I received contacts from Jan 1, 2010, till Sep 1, 2018) Here is a summary of the contact time for all 86 Missions contacted by the DSS in that time sorted by total time (in hours). +------------------------------------------------------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---...


12

Looking at the history of DSN on Wikipedia, it appears that the tens-place digit originally was allocated to identify the region or site, and within a region/site the dishes were numbered sequentially as they came online, but some have been retired while others continued in operation, so the numbering is today a little irregular. In 1966, Goldstone ...


10

Positions over time can be used to determine velocity, not just in the obvious way but more accurately than that using a model of the gravity field the spacecraft is moving in, dominated by the Sun for deep space vehicles. It is possible to develop a system to navigate a deep space vehicle fully autonomously, using only a camera for data and designing its ...


10

Yes, a station can communicate with more than one spacecraft, but not the way you suggest. Each DSN complex consists of several antennas, each of which is called a Deep Space Station. A "station" is one antenna. Each antenna has a single transmitter, so any one station can only transmit to one spacecraft at a time. However if more than one spacecraft is ...


10

When discussing radio antennae, radio astronomers usually describe things in terms of temperatures. We can convert between power and temperature simply by multiplying (or dividing) by Boltzmann's Constant: $P=k_BT$. We define the antenna's System Temperature, $T_{sys}$, as the sum of all the temperature contributing factors. The most important contributor ...


10

The answer is in the Wikipedia article: The DSS 14, "Mars" telescope So it's the name for one of the antennas of the Goldstone complex. Here are the antennas and their names:


9

Soviet and Russian deep space missions did not use NASA's DSN. The major antennas were all located in Soviet territory: Crimea, Moscow and Ussuriysk, spanning longitudes from 33 to 132 degrees east and allowing access to almost 270 of the possible 360 degrees of right ascension at any time. Rather than using monolithic 70-meter parabolic antennas similar ...


8

If you have three apertures pointed at Mars, then you would array all three for both orbiters. There would be no point in throwing away the signal of one of the orbiters on any of the antennas. You can array four antennas if you like. The DSN catalog does mention that combining MSPA and arraying is good bit more work for them, so it has to be negotiated ...


8

The wavelength dependence of the definition of free space path loss (FSPL) is an artifact of the way the receiver's antenna gain is defined in the same link budget calculation. It's referenced to an ideal isotropic antenna with a receive area of roughly 1 square wavelength, which for high frequency gets very small. If you do them together (transmit gain, ...


7

I have been looking into this as well. As I have been told by one NASA employee, there is no easy way to get old data, but there is a way if you're willing to go through lots of data. NASA saves old dsn.xml files in an address like so: http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/data/1365107113.xml That number is a unix timestamp, so that you can view the XML data at that ...


7

The current DSN could be enough, depending on what the crewed mission requirements are. If you just want to communicate with voice and moderate-rate engineering and science data, then sure. If your requirements are to send back many channels of continuous 8K ultra-high definition video, then no. You would at least need to upgrade the DSN receivers to handle ...


6

I would say that no, an orbital DSN would not be more advantageous. The main problem with receiving transmissions is due to the distance they are being sent from. The DSN antennas have to be very sensitive because the transmission power falls off with the square of the distance. Putting the antennas in space would not make them more sensitive. If we ...


6

The European Data Relay System has recently begun testing. It's for getting data from Earth orbiting satellites down to the ground quickly, without waiting for the satellite to pass over a base station. Claimed data rate: "Up to 1800 Mbit/s" and "At least 50 TBytes/day". (Note: I don't see how these two figures equate.) Here is the first big test: an image ...


6

How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us? We don't track the exact location of spacecraft. There are always errors in measurements, errors in the behaviors of the spacecraft when it makes maneuvers, and errors in our models of the solar system. Exactness (perfection) is unattainable. It is far ...


6

Because the dish isn't a black body. At RF it has a very low emissivity, hence the name "reflector".


6

Deep space communications are intermittent: the communications link only exists when a dish antenna is aimed at the spacecraft. If a spacecraft has an emergency, nobody knows about it until the next scheduled DSN contact. DSN traffic is scheduled by the DSN organization. When a scheduled contact finds a problem, the schedule can be rearranged. I assume ...


6

It took me several days observing data from DSN. Here is my analysis of the fields from the XML data files. station name: Call sign for the station. friendlyName: Common name for the station (Goldstone, Madrid, Canberra). timeUTC: Time that this report happened, using Coordinated Universal Time, in milliseconds (1/1000 of second) since the Unix epoch (1 ...


6

The DSN is used alongside ESTRACK. For Rosetta, for example: NASA’s DSN network has provided continuing, routine support to the Rosetta mission since the start of the mission (see “Tracking the spacecraft following a comet”). Numerous DSN stations – including the three, giant 70m antennas located at Madrid, Spain, Canberra, Australia, and Goldstone, ...


5

Yes, Electra radio package is provided by NASA/JPL, and NASA fully expects to utilize it's capabilities for it's own future missions. Plans call for the TGO to use its Electra radios for communication with ESA's 2018 ExoMars Rover and Russia's Lander as well as with NASA's 2016 Mars lander and 2020 Mars rover. 2016 Mars lander is the Phoenix-derived ...


5

The lunar mission which tested optical communication was LADEE. The ISS program you're thinking of is OPALS. Both tests succeeded, but neither was meant for ongoing operation. LADEE intentionally impacted the moon, and the US orbital segment of ISS currently uses S and Ku band radio communication through TDRSS. The next proposed study on laser ...


5

I don't know how much they need, but they use a 20 kW S-band transmitter on a 70 m antenna at 16 bits per second for uplink.


5

So, first of all, what does it take to send the signal in the first place? Each of the Deep Space Network sites has a 34m antenna that is typically used for inner solar system communications. The power is approximately 200- 400W, in a band where that much power is difficult to achieve. In order to jam the signal, you need to increase the noise significantly. ...


5

A broadcast from a random location won't work. The radio antennae used at the Deep Space Network sites to send data to and receive data from deep space probes are highly directional. To jam the signal, you would have to transmit from a location that is between the receiving Deep Space Network antenna and the deep space probe. That would mean using a drone, ...


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