• VHF/UHF Antenna Calibration Using Radio Stars

      Taylor, Ralph E.; Stocklin, Frank J.; Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1970-10)
      This paper describes a stellar calibration technique, using radio stars, that determines receiving system noise temperature, or antenna gain, at frequencies below 500 MHz. The overall system noise temperature is referenced to radio star flux densities known within several tenths of a decibel. An independent determination of antenna gain must be made before computing system noise temperature and several methods are suggested. The preferred method uses celestial and receiving system parameters to compute gain; whereas a less desirable method requires an accurately known output level from a standard signal generator. Field test data, obtained at 136 MHz and 400 MHz in the NASA space tracking and data acquisition network (STADAN), demonstrates that antenna gain and system noise temperature can be determined with an accuracy of 1 db. The radio stars Cassiopeia A and Cygnus A were used to calibrate 40-ft. diameter paraboloidal antennas, at 136 MHz and 400 MHz, and phase array antennas at 136 MHz. The radio star calibration technique, described herein, makes possible accurate station-to-station performance comparisons since a common farfield signal source is observed. This technique is also suitable for calibrating telemetry antennas operating in the IRIG 216-260 MHz frequency band.
    • Video Bandwidth, if Bandwidth and Peak Deviation in Notch Noise Testing

      Little, K. G.; Astro Communication Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1970-10)
      This paper presents guidelines for conducting notch noise testing of telemetry transmitter-receiver systems. An understanding of the type of FM-FM modulation format which random white noise accurately simulates leads to certain convenient relations between spectral power density, video bandwidth, peak deviation and IF bandwidth. Notch noise measurements were made on video noise in a video limiter to determine the dynamic range required of a system which transmits random white noise faithfully. These measurements were of significant importance because they show that a great deal of excess IF bandwidth is required to transmit random noise spectra. Specifically, it was found that to achieve a 50 db notch noise measurement the system dynamic range may be as much as 10 times greater than the RMS value of the composite signals.