THE NASA DATA SYSTEMS STANDARDIZATION PROGRAM RADIO FREQUENCY AND MODULATION
AuthorMartin, Warren L.
AffiliationCALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
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AbstractAs space missions have become more expensive, the search for methods to improve efficiency has intensified. One approach offering great potential focuses upon multimission designs in order to avoid early obsolescence. Data handling systems are attractive candidates for the multimission concept because of the high cost of redesign and because the process should be amenable to a high degree of uniformity. By cooperating in the specification of their data systems, NASA and ESA should achieve significant uniformity. Apart from improving the design, this unified approach will facilitate the cross support of one agency’s spacecraft by the other agency’s tracking network. Here, we are concerned with the radio frequency subsystem which links spacecraft instruments with ground-based users. In large measure, the telecommunications system’s characteristics are determined by the ground station’s design. For the concept of cross support to succeed, there must be a substantial similarity between these NASA and ESA designs. Both NASA and ESA have large capital investments in their ground networks. While it might be theoretically satisfying to speak of a single ground system configuration for both agencies, the high cost of the required revisions renders this approach practically unachievable. This paper describes a process for maximizing the commonality of the two agencies’ radio frequency and modulation systems that is consistent with budgetary and scheduling constraints. The two-part program consists of identifying present system similarities and developing a plan for eliminating substantive differences where they are found to exist.
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