Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Relays from Mars demonstrate international interplanetary networking

10.08.2004


ESA’s Mars Express has relayed pictures from one of NASA’s Mars rovers for the first time, as part of a set of interplanetary networking demonstrations. The demonstrations pave the way for future Mars missions to draw on joint interplanetary networking capabilities. ESA and NASA planned these demonstrations as part of continuing efforts to cooperate in space exploration.



On 4 August at 14:24 CEST, as Mars Express flew over one of NASA’s Mars exploration rovers, Opportunity, it successfully received data previously collected and stored by the rover. The data, including 15 science images from the rover’s nine cameras, were then downlinked to ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt (Germany) and immediately relayed to the Mars Exploration Rovers team based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, USA.

NASA orbiters Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor have so far relayed most of the data produced by the rovers since they landed in January. Communication compatibility between Mars Express and the rovers had already been demonstrated in February, although at a low rate that did not convey much data. The 4 August session, at a transmit rate of 42.6 megabits in about six minutes, set a new mark for international networking around another planet.


The success of this demonstration is the result of years of groundwork and was made possible because both Mars Express and the Mars rovers use the same communication protocol. This protocol, called Proximity-1, was developed by the international Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, an international partnership for standardising techniques for handling space data.

Mars Express was 1400 kilometres above the Martian surface during the 4 August session with Opportunity, with the goal of a reliable transfer of lots of data. Engineers for both agencies plan to repeat this display of international cooperation today, 10 August, with another set of Opportunity images.

“We’re delighted how well this has been working, and thankful to have Mars Express in orbit,” said Richard Horttor of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, project manager for NASA’s role in Mars Express. JPL engineer Gary Noreen of the Mars Network Office said: “the capabilities that our international teamwork is advancing this month could be important in future exploration of Mars.”

In addition, Mars Express is verifying two other operating modes with Opportunity and the twin rover, Spirit, from a greater distance. On 3 and 6 August, when Mars Express listened to Spirit, it was about 6000 kilometres above the surface. At this range it successfully tracked a beacon from Spirit, demonstrating a capability that can be used to locate another craft during critical events, such as the descent to a planet’s surface, or for orbital rendez-vous manoeuvres.

“Establishing a reliable communication network around Mars or other planets is crucial for future exploration missions, as it will allow improved coverage and also an increase in the amount of data that can be brought back to Earth,” said Con McCarthy, from ESA’s Mars Express project, “the tracking mode will enable ESA and NASA to pinpoint a spacecraft’s position more accurately during critical mission phases.”

The final session of the series, scheduled for 13 August with Opportunity, will demonstrate a mode for gaining navigational information from the ‘Doppler shift’ in the radio signal.

Guido de Marchi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>