Issue
J. Phys. Colloques
Volume 42, Number C8, Décembre 1981
Troisième Symposium sur les Etalons de Fréquence et la Métrologie / Third Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology
Page(s) C8-373 - C8-381
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/jphyscol:1981844
Troisième Symposium sur les Etalons de Fréquence et la Métrologie / Third Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology

J. Phys. Colloques 42 (1981) C8-373-C8-381

DOI: 10.1051/jphyscol:1981844

PRESENT AND FUTURE FREQUENCY AND TIMING CAPABILITIES OF THE DEEP SPACE NETWORK

P.F. Kuhnle1, 2 et R.L. Sydnor1, 2

1  Communications Systems Research Section
2  Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.


Abstract
The world-wide Deep Space Network (DSN), with facilities in the United States, Spain, and Australia, uses atomic frequency standards to generate stable frequency and timing signals to meet the telemetry and tracking requirements for space exploration missions. Outer planet navigation requires doppler accuracy of 30 micrometers per second, range accuracy of two meters, angle accuracy of a few nanoradians (using Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) techniques), and high reliability. These needs impose stability requirements on frequency standards of parts in 1014 over several hours and 1012 at one second. In addition, a low drift rate is necessary so as to minimize the number of measurements needed to maintain clock synchronization to 100 nanoseconds and frequency syntonization to 3 x 10-13 between the three complexes. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which operates the DSN for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), uses ensembles of active hydrogen masers, cesium beam frequency standards, and high resolution clocks to achieve the required performance reliably. Time synchronization between complexes is currently achieved by the use of VLBI techniques, traveling clocks, and Loran-C. Use of the Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) is under active investigation as a less costly and more accurate alternative. This article covers the above requirements, equipment, techniques, and more stringent requirements of the 1990 time frame.