AffiliationGoddard Space Flight Center
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Collection InformationProceedings from the International Telemetering Conference are made available by the International Foundation for Telemetering and the University of Arizona Libraries. Visit http://www.telemetry.org/index.php/contact-us if you have questions about items in this collection.
AbstractThis 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.
SponsorsInternational Foundation for Telemetering