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A New Blind Pointing Model Improves Large Reflector Antennas Precision Pointing at Ka-Band (32 GHz)The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)-Deep Space Network (DSN) subnet of 34-m Beam Waveguide (BWG) Antennas was recently upgraded with Ka-Band (32-GHz) frequency feeds for space research and communication. For normal telemetry tracking a Ka-Band monopulse system is used, which typically yields 1.6-mdeg mean radial error (MRE) pointing accuracy on the 34-m diameter antennas. However, for the monopulse to be able to acquire and lock, for special radio science applications where monopulse cannot be used, or as a back-up for the monopulse, high-precision open-loop blind pointing is required. This paper describes a new 4th order pointing model and calibration technique, which was developed and applied to the DSN 34-m BWG antennas yielding 1.8 to 3.0-mdeg MRE pointing accuracy and amplitude stability of 0.2 dB, at Ka-Band, and successfully used for the CASSINI spacecraft occultation experiment at Saturn and Titan. In addition, the new 4th order pointing model was used during a telemetry experiment at Ka-Band (32 GHz) utilizing the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft while at a distance of 0.225 astronomical units (AU) from Earth and communicating with a DSN 34-m BWG antenna at a record high rate of 6-megabits per second (Mb/s).
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Rochblatt, David J. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 18, 2015
Publication Date
March 7, 2009
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Meeting Information
2009 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
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