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On the Performance of Adaptive Data Rate over Deep Space Ka-Bank Link: Case Study Using Kepler DataFuture missions envisioned for both human and robotic exploration demand increasing communication capacity through the use of Ka-band communications. The Ka-band channel, being more sensitive to weather impairments, presents a unique trade-offs between data storage, latency, data volume and reliability. While there are many possible techniques for optimizing Ka-band operations such as adaptive modulation and coding and site-diversity, this study focus exclusively on the use of adaptive data rate (ADR) to achieve significant improvement in the data volume-availability tradeoff over a wide range of link distances for near Earth and Mars exploration. Four years of Kepler Ka-band downlink symbol signal-to-noise (SNR) data reported by the Deep Space Network were utilized to characterize the Ka-band channel statistics at each site and conduct various what-if performance analysis for different link distances. We model a notional closed-loop adaptive data rate system in which an algorithm predicts the channel condition two-way light time (TWLT) into the future using symbol SNR reported in near-real time by the ground receiver and determines the best data rate to use. Fixed and adaptive margins were used to mitigate errors in channel prediction. The performance of this closed-loop adaptive data rate approach is quantified in terms of data volume and availability and compared to the actual mission configuration and a hypothetical, optimized single rate configuration assuming full a priori channel knowledge.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Gao, Jay L. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 1, 2017
Publication Date
March 5, 2016
Subject Category
Communications and Radar
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Meeting Information
2016 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits