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Deep Space Relay Terminals for Mars Superior Conjunction

Show simple item record Breidenthal, Julian C. Jesick, Mark C. Xie, Hua Lau, Chi-Wung 2020-05-04T16:47:35Z 2020-05-04T16:47:35Z 2018-05-28
dc.identifier.citation The 15th International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps), Marseille, France, May 28 - June 1, 2018 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 18-2070
dc.description.abstract The Sun periodically blocks direct communication between the Earth and Mars, creating a need for a relay when missions have a critical need for communication during these times. We examined several approaches based on optical or radio-frequency relays placed in deep space between the Earth and Mars, exploring multiple possible placements of relays, including periodic orbits in the Sun-Earth and Sun-Mars rotating frames, and eccentric, sun-centered orbits. L4 and L5 long-period orbits in the sun-Mars system provide suitable communications geometry continuously for very long durations. In such an orbit, a deep space relay terminal with two 50 cm optical telescopes and two 75 cm Ka-band dish antennas, along with associated receivers and transmitters, would be capable of supporting Mars superior conjunctions with an optical data rate of 28 to 44 Mbps for return links, and 30-36 Mbps in the forward direction. The relay should use efficient, low-noise optical detectors, such as appropriately cooled Avalanche Photo Diode or Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors, to achieve these data rates. The single relay discussed in this study might have additional value beyond communications, providing a synergistic platform for solar observation, solar wind observation, gravitational studies, the search for near-earth asteroids, or a navigational beacon. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018 en_US
dc.title Deep Space Relay Terminals for Mars Superior Conjunction en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US

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