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treetreeseven
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Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:18 am

all Pluto data downloaded from New Horizons

Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:45 am

It was interesting to me to see in the news recently that New Horizons just finished sending all its Pluto flyby data to Earth. Apparently the data rate that far out for the spacecraft was 1-4 Kbps (dialup modems top out at 56 Kbps). I read about this kind of thing all the time but still didn't realize that data rates were that low. I was reading about a Venus mission that also had a surprisingly low data rate despite being so much closer.

At any rate, looks like New Horizons is on for a New Years Day 2019 flyby of 2014 MU69, a classical (unperturbed, non-resonant with Neptune) Kuiper Belt object, otherwise known as a "cubewano." I'm excited! :D
 
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SeJoWa
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 6:11 pm

Re: all Pluto data downloaded from New Horizons

Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:39 pm

More than 3 billion miles from Earth.

Quote/ During the Jupiter flyby in February 2007, New Horizons sent data home at about 38 kilobits per second (kbps), which is slightly slower than the transmission speed for most computer modems. The average downlink rate after New Horizons passes Pluto (and sends the bulk of its encounter data back to Earth) is approximately 2,000 bits per second, a rate the spacecraft achieves by downlinking with both of its transmitters through NASA's largest antennas. /Unquote, source:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Mission/Spacecr ... ection.php

Current activities at NASA Deep Space Network's three global sites:
http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

At the heart of NH is a radiation hardened MIPS-based 32-bit chip clocked at 12 MHz:
https://imgtec.com/blog/mips-goes-to-pluto/
 
treetreeseven
Topic Author
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:18 am

Re: all Pluto data downloaded from New Horizons

Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:56 am

SeJoWa wrote:
At the heart of NH is a radiation hardened MIPS-based 32-bit chip clocked at 12 MHz:
https://imgtec.com/blog/mips-goes-to-pluto/

I love reading about the computer hardware used in various space probes.

It's amazing what can be accomplished with processors with raw performance straight out of the 1980s (literally in this case, as it's essentially a radiation-hardened MIPS R3000, a late-80s design). In CS classes, I remember hearing younger students wonder aloud what one could even accomplish with a 386 (roughly the same performance class). Turns out, quite a bit!
 
mpgunner
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:08 pm

Re: all Pluto data downloaded from New Horizons

Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:17 pm

Sadly, this was my wheelhouse in the 80's. Sending data over SLOOOWWWW links with processors that we thought were fast fast the time (Z80, 8088, 68000, ...).

So, I was kind of surprised that this milestone was reached. After some help from Google it looks like there was 50GB +/- of data sent over 15 months. At 2k bits/sec this shows they are using some recompression (expected) to get this done.

This does show the problem of adding hi-res cameras on board of these spacecraft and then needing to send the images them back. Fun stuff.
 
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speedygonzales
Posts: 698
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:01 pm

Re: all Pluto data downloaded from New Horizons

Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:22 am

mpgunner wrote:
50GB

Gb, not GB, so you're off by a factor of eight.
Ignorance kills. :tombstone:

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