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Communicating by Doppler: Detecting Spacecraft Dynamics During Critical Maneuvers
External Online Source: hdl:2014/42522
Author and Affiliation:
Asmar, Sami W.(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States)
Abstract: Communicating information from spacecraft in deep space utilizes sophisticated techniques of modulations onto a microwave signal carrier. Under most conditions, there is a high success rate of sending commands to the spacecraft and receiving science data acquired by on-board instruments along with health and status information. There are conditions, however, where the signal dynamics are too high and/or the received signal-to-noise ratio is below the receiver threshold. Under these conditions, often by design and sometimes as a result of planned or unplanned critical maneuvers, events (e.g., orbit insertion or descent and landing), safe mode, etc., it becomes highly critical but exceedingly challenging to receive information about the health and dynamical behavior of the spacecraft. The Deep Space Network, being a world-class instrument for Radio Science research, developed openloop receivers, called the Radio Science Receiver, designed to capture the raw incoming electromagnetic signals and associated noise for Radio Science experiments; post data capture digital signal processing extracts the signal carrier for scientific analysis. This receiver provides a high level of configuration flexibility and can be optimized for the various types of experiments. In addition to its scientific utility, it proved to be useful, and in some cases critical, for the support of missions during specific scenarios were the link budget is below the threshold of the tracking receiver to maintain lock or the frequency dynamics are faster than the limits of the tracking receiver. In these cases, the signal carrier is often detected only in the open-loop receiver to provide information on the specific behavior of the spacecraft from the carrier dynamics. This paper describes the utility of the system to support mission-critical events for the three cases of Cassini's Saturn orbit insertion, Huygens Titan landing, and Mars rovers landing.
Publication Date: Jun 12, 2012
Document ID:
20130001865
(Acquired Jan 19, 2013)
Subject Category: SPACE COMMUNICATIONS, SPACECRAFT COMMUNICATIONS, COMMAND AND TRACKING
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: SpaceOps Conference; 11-15 Jun. 2012; Stockholm; Sweden
Financial Sponsor: Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech.; Pasadena, CA, United States
Organization Source: Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech.; Pasadena, CA, United States
Description: 10p; In English; Original contains color and black and white illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
NASA Terms: CASSINI MISSION; COMMUNICATING; DEEP SPACE; DOPPLER EFFECT; HUYGENS PROBE; MARS LANDING; ORBIT INSERTION; RADIO RECEIVERS; SIGNAL ANALYSIS; SIGNAL PROCESSING; SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIOS; SPACE COMMUNICATION; SPACECRAFT ANTENNAS
Other Descriptors: RADIO SCIENCE; RADIO SCIENCE RECEIVER (RSR); MISSION-CRITICAL EVENTS
Availability Source: Other Sources
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