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Planetary Radar Imaging with the Deep-Space Network's 34 Meter Uplink ArrayA coherent Uplink Array consisting of two or three 34-meter antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network has been developed for the primary purpose of increasing EIRP at the spacecraft. Greater EIRP ensures greater reach, higher uplink data rates for command and configuration control, as well as improved search and recovery capabilities during spacecraft emergencies. It has been conjectured that Doppler-delay radar imaging of lunar targets can be extended to planetary imaging, where the long baseline of the uplink array can provide greater resolution than a single antenna, as well as potentially higher EIRP. However, due to the well known R4 loss in radar links, imaging of distant planets is a very challenging endeavor, requiring accurate phasing of the Uplink Array antennas, cryogenically cooled low-noise receiver amplifiers, and sophisticated processing of the received data to extract the weak echoes characteristic of planetary radar. This article describes experiments currently under way to image the planets Mercury and Venus, highlights improvements in equipment and techniques, and presents planetary images obtained to date with two 34 meter antennas configured as a coherently phased Uplink Array.
Document ID
20120004275
Document Type
Presentation
External Source(s)
Authors
Vilnrotter, Victor
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Tsao, P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Lee, D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Cornish, T.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Jao, J.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Slade, M.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
March 11, 2011
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Meeting Information
IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
uplink array
Doppler delay imaging
planetary radar imaging
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