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Deep Space Measurement And Control Network: Direct The Way For 'Tianwen No.1'

Oct 12, 2020

In July this year, tianwen I, carrying the Chinese astronauts' exploration and pursuit, launched into deep space and started China's journey to Mars.

As the core system to support the implementation of deep space exploration mission, deep space TTC network plays an irreplaceable role in it.If tianwen I, which has left the bosom of the earth, is like a boat in the vast sea, then the network of deep space measurement and control is the "lighthouse" guiding its direction.

The mission lasted nearly 7 months and the longest distance was nearly 400 million kilometers, which was an unprecedented challenge for the young TTC and TTC personnel in China's deep space.

Measurement and control system is an important part of space mission.The relationship between spacecraft and the tt&C system is like that between a ship and a lighthouse, or between a kite and a line. The latter directs the direction of the former and sustains the safety of the former.

Compared with general space TT&C missions, deep space TT&C missions have the characteristics of long tracking and measurement distance, high signal transmission delay, difficult navigation and measurement, and long mission duration.Therefore, deep space TT&C system is considered as an upgraded version of the tt&C system.

The deep space tt&C system is generally composed of the satellite-borne TT&C subsystem on the deep space spacecraft, the ground DEEP space TT&C station, the deep space mission flight control center and the communication network connecting the ground components together.

Large-aperture parabolic antenna, high-power transmitter, extremely sensitive receiving system, signal processing system and high-precision and high-stability time and frequency system are the essential "standard" of DEEP space TTC network.Its function, lies in to obtain the deep space spacecraft radio tracking measurement data, sends the uplink instruction, realizes to the deep space spacecraft remote control, and USES in the radio science and the radar astronomy research.

Of course, to hold on to the "kite string" at all times requires continuous monitoring and control coverage of deep-space spacecraft on Earth.In order to overcome the influence of earth rotation, the layout of DEEP space TT&C network is usually to set up stations on a global scale to reduce the blind spots of measurement and control as much as possible.

With the pace of human exploration of the universe further and further, more and more space powers began to develop equipment and build their own deep space measurement and control network.