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ThinkMind // SPACOMM 2015, The Seventh International Conference on Advances in Satellite and Space Communications // View article spacomm_2015_2_10_20075


Weather-impacting Link Analysis for New Horizons Data Return

Authors:
Timothy Pham
Jason Liao
Christopher Deboy

Keywords: DSN; performance analysis; weather statistics; New Horizons

Abstract:
This paper describes a recent effort in characterizing the weather conditions at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Deep Space Network (DSN) to assess how they could impact the data return of the New Horizons mission during the Pluto encounter period. The frequency of rain occurrence is quantified based on recent 2014 statistics. The cumulative distribution of the precipitation rate during the rain events and the corresponding signal degradation are studied. The result is then evaluated against the anticipated link margin for two possible tracking configurations: one with a single 70m antenna, the other with an array of a 70m and three 34m antennas. The array offers a more robust link with greater margin, thus, a better protection against possible rain degradation; however, it would negatively impact other missions that require DSN support over the same period. The determination of possible improvement in terms of increased probability of data return offered by the antenna arraying helps selecting a strategy that best balances the benefit to the New Horizons mission and the impact to other missions concurrently supported by the DSN.

Pages: 31 to 34

Copyright: Copyright (c) IARIA, 2015

Publication date: April 19, 2015

Published in: conference

ISSN: 2308-4480

ISBN: 978-1-61208-397-1

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Dates: from April 19, 2015 to April 24, 2015

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