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- Mass is the most important limiting parameter for present-day planetary spacecraft design, In fact, the entire design can be characterized by mass. The more efficient the design of the spacecraft, the less mass will be required. The communications system is an essential and integral part of planetary spacecraft. A study is presented of the mass attributable to the communications system for spacecraft designs used in recent missions in an attempt to help guide future design considerations and research and development efforts. The basic approach is to examine the spacecraft by subsystem and allocate a portion of each subsystem to telecommunications. Conceptually, this is to divide the spacecraft into two parts, telecommunications and nontelecommunications. In this way, it is clear what the mass attributable to the communications system is. The percentage of mass is calculated using the actual masses of the spacecraft parts, except in the case of CRAF. In that case, estimated masses are used since the spacecraft was not yet built. The results show that the portion of the spacecraft attributable to telecommunications is substantial. The mass fraction for Voyager, Galileo, and CRAF (Mariner Mark 2) is 34, 19, and 18 percent, respectively. The large reduction of telecommunications mass from Voyager to Galileo is mainly due to the use of a deployable antenna instead of the solid antenna on Voyager.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19880009400.
Accession ID: 88N18784.
The Telecommunications and Data Acquisition Report; p 82-88.
- No Copyright.
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