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An Introduction to Deep Space Communication

June 28, 2015 Leave a comment

While working on an MSc program, I chose Deep Space Communication as an area to research. I knew nothing about the subject beforehand, but found it fascinating. A few friends and family expressed an interest in the area and I thought it may be worthwhile distilling some of the basics into a single introductory document. It is not so easy to find an easy to digest introduction on this subject, as many documents are pretty full on! So hopefully this will be useful to those interested in how we manage to communicate with spacecraft billions of Km from earth.

Please feel free to share and comment. If you have anything you would like to discuss or any specific questions you think I may be able to answer, please get in touch by commenting or via LinkedIn.

Abstract This paper is aimed at readers with an interest in deep space communication, but do not have any prior knowledge. The content can be used to gain a basic understanding to satisfy a passing interest, and also provide a foundation for further learning as required. Topics covered: Unique challenges of deep space communication, international deep space networks, radio frequency communication fundamentals and deep space antenna design.

Link to Document: An Introduction to Deep Space Communication

Categories: Science

Sinkhole swallows building!!!

June 2, 2010 1 comment

It may look like a cool Photoshop edit but this is real!

A sinkhole in Guatemala consumed an entire 3 story building.

Sinkholes are apparently caused by excess moisture in the earth beneath which eventually collapses and consumes all above.

 

Categories: Just Plain Cool, Science

Vista Telescope captures cool images of the Orion Nebula

March 14, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Science

Mythbusters Experiment No.1

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

OK, I heard from several sources that it is possible to open a car door from way out of range using the remote key fob and a mobile phone.

It is believed (and reported all over the web) that the mobile phone somehow carries the signal, it has even been reported that it can work with the key fob and car in different countries.

It is also documented (all over the web) and explained very well by Geoff our resident radio communications expert, that this cannot possibly work due to many things, but mainly the inability of a mobile phone or mobile phone network to carry the signal from the key fob.

But still there are lots of claims from people on the web that this works, despite all the scientific whadgamibob.

So let’s give it a try…..Mythbuster style….

The Experiment
Cars
  • Ford Edge
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Ford Mustang
Mobile Phones
  • Nokia Xpress music 5300
  • Sony Ericsson C901
Method
  1. Two people stayed with the car equipped with a mobile phone
  2. Two people drove to a distance of ~200 yards away from the car being tested
  3. The key fob was rested without the mobile phone to confirm it was out of range
  4. A mobile phone call was established between the guys with the car and the guys with the key fob
  5. While the call was still active, the key fob was operated while pointed at the mobile phone
  6. The guy holding the mobile phone pointed it at the car whose key fob was being tested
Results
  • Ford Edge : Fail
  • Chevrolet Camaro : Fail
  • Ford Mustang : Fail
Conclusion

Although we could have tried different mobile phone combinations, we concluded that it’s a myth and it aint gonna work

Check back next time when we try to take over the controls of a passenger aircraft flying overhead using some copper wire, a Mac Book Pro and a block of Bavarian smoked cheese….

Categories: Fun, Science, Stupidity, Technology

Intelligent Cat Flap!

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment


This amazing invention prevents access to all but two cats, which are equipped with RFID tags.

As the cats go through the cat flap, it takes a picture of them and sends out the picture via twitter! J

http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/09/intelligent-cat-door-utilizes-twitter-rfid-masterfully/

Categories: Science, Stupidity, Technology