For future deep-space missions, significant reductions in the mass and power requirements for short-range telecommunication systems will be critical in enabling a wide variety of new mission concepts. These possibilities include penetrators, gliders, miniature rovers, balloons, and sensor networks. The recent development activity reported in this article has focused on the design of ultra-low-mass and -power transceiver systems and subsystems suitable for operation in a flight environment. Under these efforts, the basic functionality of the transceiver has been targeted towards a Mars microprobe communications scenario. However, the overall transceiver architecture is well suited to any short- or medium-range application where a remote probe will aperiodically communicate with a base station, possibly an orbiter, for the eventual purpose of relaying science information back to Earth. Additionally, elements of the radio architecture can be applied in situations involving surface-to-surface communications, thereby enabling different mission communications topologies. Through a system analysis of these channels, both the applicability and benefit of very low power communications will be quantitatively addressed.
Interplanetary Network Progress Report
- Pub Date:
- July 2001