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Adding a Second Ku-Band Antenna to the International Space StationThe International Space Station, as originally developed, used the Ku-Band Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System communications link to transmit non-critical data to the ground. Since becoming operational, the use for the link evolved to include additional services that, although also not critical, were deemed to be necessary for the crew. The external Ku-Band Antennas were designed for transport to the ISS in the shuttle cargo bay and thus are not suitable for manifesting on any current cargo vehicle. The original intent was to stow two spare antennas on orbit in a protective container until such time as they were needed to replace a failing unit which is a long and complicated process due to the complexity of the removal and replacement procedure. The Boeing Company proposed manifesting one of those spare antennas in an operable configuration eliminating the need for an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) to correct the first failure and as such minimizing the time to hours rather than weeks required to restore the Ku-Band communications link after failures. After the first failure, an EVA would be scheduled to replace the failed antenna with the stowed spare antenna. Because the hot spare is activated internal to the ISS, the replacement of the failed unit can be done when convenient rather than in haste. This paper describes the methodology used to locate a suitable site to add a new antenna mast to the ISS as well the process followed to fabricate, deliver and install the new interface hardware. Because this was not planned when the ISS was originally designed, structural, power, data and Intermediate Frequency signal connections had to be found for use. With the movement of the P6 solar array element from the initial location in the center zenith location of the ISS to the end of the port side of the truss and concurrent relocation of one string of S-Band communications assets, there were candidate power, data and structural connections available on the Z1 Truss. The engineering team evaluated these residual interfaces for use and designed cabling and structural elements for the candidate interfaces. The antenna was recently installed on ULF-4 and has completed a preliminary checkout. Included in this check out were evaluation of the power level received from the TDRS and evaluation of the gimbal position feedback for consideration in the static bias pointing matrix. This process demonstrates the ability to modify and upgrade manned space vehicles as either need or technology requires.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
DuSold, Chuck (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Thacker, Corey (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Kwatra, Sundeep (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
September 26, 2011
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA SPACE 2011 Conference and Exposition(Long Beach, CA)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 20110004354.pdf STI