The Role of Clocks in Operating Deep Space Missions
CALIFORNIA INST OF TECHNOLOGY PASADENA JET PROPULSION LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
Operation of deep space missions requires stable frequency references and clocks to perform several mission critical functions. These references are used in generating the telecommunication links to maintain communications between earth and spacecraft, in generating accurate doppler, range and VLBI observables for determining the spacecrafts time varying position, and to generate on-board timing information for clocking out timed commands and time tagging instrument data. In addition, science applications exist particularly those utilizing radio instrumentation which can require additional functions and levels of performance. The design necessary to support these functions affects both the spacecraft and the ground tracking stations. This paper provides a brief description of these functions and some of the key requirements needed to support them.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods