• Data Relay System for Space Shuttle and Payload Pre-Launch Checkout

      O'Donnell, Hugh B.; Wise, Thomas E.; Ngo, David Q.; GSFC; BFEC (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1987-10)
      Engineering requirements and design characteristics of the coherent throughput relay system which supports East Coast pre-launch checkout of NASA's Space Shuttle and its Payloads are presented. The Relay system is required to provide communications through NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System for the Shuttle and Payload-Users while they are encapsulated in the launch preparation facilities at the John F. Kennedy Space Center and the Eastern Test Range, Florida. The Relay system is required to be transparent to its users' data at all rates up to three MB/s at S-band and 300 MB/s at Ku-band. Noise and group-delay distortion are major contributors to wide band RF signal degradation. These were major factors in the Relay system design. Antenna design, pointing angle and location were constrained by the need to maximize end-to-end RF signal isolation at both S-band and KU-band, simultaneous forward and return frequencies. System characteristics and link analysis are also presented. In addition, a similar Data Relay located at Vandenberg Air Force Base is briefly described.