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Tags astronomy , New Horizons , pluto

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Old 14th July 2015, 06:41 AM   #121
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Nah, it's a Pluto angel.
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Old 14th July 2015, 06:44 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
But it was four hours ago.
~Four hours ago:

July 14 05:40:45 EDT
New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 107772.52 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.
July 14 05:41:09 EDT
New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 107444.60 km away at est. resolution 6.7 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

Next scheduled communication that I see:

July 14 10:50:00 EDT
New Horizons soon to be communicating with Canberra 34 m (DSS-34) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html
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Old 14th July 2015, 06:47 AM   #123
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I mean four hours ago for New Horizons. Just a joke anyway.
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Old 14th July 2015, 06:47 AM   #124
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Lmao, excellent

ETA never mind

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Old 14th July 2015, 06:48 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Wonderful example of pareidolia.
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Old 14th July 2015, 06:49 AM   #126
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I wonder if they will be able to take pictures of Pluto with Saturn and Jupiter. Looks like the angle might be right.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Mission/Wher...zons/index.php

Looks like the Earth would be pointing back down towards the sun, not sure if that would overwhelm the imagers, or if the Earth would be visible.

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Old 14th July 2015, 07:06 AM   #127
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I have it in my head that the transfer rate at that distance is 1k baud, so it does take a long time to send even a single picture. And I imagine there's probably some redundancy in there that stretches it out even further.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:09 AM   #128
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Why does transfer rate depend on distance?
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:19 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Why does transfer rate depend on distance?
I want to know why they didn't just put a very long fibre optic cable between Earth and the probe....
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:23 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Why does transfer rate depend on distance?
Large distances mean weak signal, which means you basically have to measure each "bit" for longer times to make up for that. If you tried to send high data rates, you'd get too many errors from background noise.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:33 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Large distances mean weak signal, which means you basically have to measure each "bit" for longer times to make up for that. If you tried to send high data rates, you'd get too many errors from background noise.
I know of one system with a (ahem) possible military application where the data was sent four times. They were received and "stacked", and bits that didn't match the others was eliminated. The issue there was when two bit matched each other but not the other two. You got at least two copies of the message then and a human decided which one was correct.

Any idea of they're using the same system with New Horizons? The date of that project would imply it may have gone public by now.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:33 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Why does transfer rate depend on distance?
Several reasons. Mainly the radio signal isn't coherent and expands as it travels and a weak signal (as perceived from the receiver) needs more error correction.
Data rate is ~50kb/s at 5AU, 11kb/s at 10AU, 3kb/s at 20AU DOWN TO ~700b/s at 50AU
There's limited time available on the 70m dishes, even for NH.

Further the twin tube amplifier technique (which speeds data rate by about 90%) requires most of the power available from the RTG, no no data gathering unless the guidance/control system is shut down.
The plutonium continues to decay so by the time New Horizons is doing the Kuiper belt flyby it won't be able to run both transmitters.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:33 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Large distances mean weak signal, which means you basically have to measure each "bit" for longer times to make up for that. If you tried to send high data rates, you'd get too many errors from background noise.

That's my understanding as well.

We really need to discover subspace channels.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:35 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
I know of one system with a (ahem) possible military application where the data was sent four times. They were received and "stacked", and bits that didn't match the others was eliminated. The issue there was when two bit matched each other but not the other two. You got at least two copies of the message then and a human decided which one was correct.

Any idea of they're using the same system with New Horizons? The date of that project would imply it may have gone public by now.
Try this book.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:39 AM   #135
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I'll forward that to Sciwoman.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:53 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
I know of one system with a (ahem) possible military application where the data was sent four times. They were received and "stacked", and bits that didn't match the others was eliminated. The issue there was when two bit matched each other but not the other two. You got at least two copies of the message then and a human decided which one was correct.

Any idea of they're using the same system with New Horizons? The date of that project would imply it may have gone public by now.
Not likely. I'm sure they're using error correction algorithms, but it's probably much more sophisticated than what you describe. Your description is actually pretty inefficient, and while it might have some advantages in robustness, it's probably not worth it for this sort of application.

I'll give a simple example. You may have heard of "parity bits" for computer memory. The idea is you take one byte (8 bits) and add a 9th bit to it. The 9th bit gets assigned to a 0 if there are an even number of 1's in the first 8 bits, and a 1 if there are an odd number of 1's in the first 8 bits. That way, you can detect any 1-bit errors within that byte. However, you can't detect 2-bit errors, and you can't correct errors.

But you can generalize and abstract this idea with math. Consider each byte to be a vector in an 8-dimensional discrete space. Adding the parity bit transforms this vector into a 9-dimensional discrete space. But not every vector in this 9-dimensional space is a valid vector, so you can (sometimes) tell if you've got an error.

More sophisticated methods using this principle may be able to not only detect errors, but actually correct them. For example, if you take a collection of 8 bytes (64 bits), add on a 9th byte (for a total of 72 bits), you're projecting your 64-dimensional vector into a 72-dimensional space. For the parity bit version, we end up with half the vectors in the new space being valid and half being invalid, but in the 64-bit to 72-bit conversion (same fractional overhead), only 1 out of every 256 vectors is valid. Now you can detect more errors, and if the errors aren't too large, you can actually correct them, because a single-bit error will be closest to one valid vector than other valid vectors.

This stuff is really common in communications and data storage (CD's and hard drives all use data correction algorithms), and there's a large body of mathematical work describing optimal efficiencies versus expected error rates, etc. NASA will undoubtedly be using error correction in their communications, but it's probably standard off-the-shelf stuff, because this data isn't "sensitive" in the way that military communications might be.
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Old 14th July 2015, 07:57 AM   #137
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Yeah, the range was extremely short in relation to New Horizons, so sending four copies wasn't a big deal.

ETA: Just asked and the system was superseded in 1993. That's me being not up to date.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:09 AM   #138
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Also, the antenna on New Horizons is not steerable, so the whole spacecraft has to be turned to transmit, which means you're no longer collecting data. So you've got to balance the two, and right now at closest approach it's heavily skewed toward data collection, with bulk transmission later after there's not much to look at.*



*Until they reach the further KBOs, but that's a while from now.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:11 AM   #139
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Canberra is receiving from NH right now. http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:16 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by One Skunk Todd View Post
Canberra is receiving from NH right now. http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html
Question about that site. I'm confused by what direction the signal appears to be going. It seems that Canberra is sending signals (up signal). Am I just not understanding this correctly?
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:19 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
Yeah, the range was extremely short in relation to New Horizons, so sending four copies wasn't a big deal.

ETA: Just asked and the system was superseded in 1993. That's me being not up to date.
"One hundred and sixty dollars?"
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:22 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by DGM View Post
Question about that site. I'm confused by what direction the signal appears to be going. It seems that Canberra is sending signals (up signal). Am I just not understanding this correctly?
When I first looked it looked like it was receiving. They may be sending back an acknowledgment? I don't know for sure.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:29 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by One Skunk Todd View Post
When I first looked it looked like it was receiving. They may be sending back an acknowledgment? I don't know for sure.
In the lower left corner they show details on "up signal" or "down signal". I've only seen "up" (could be wrong). If they are just sending a wake up call (so to speak), The reply would be ~9 hours from now, right?

Like I said. I'm new to that site but I am now looking into it deeper. This brings me back to watching the NASA launches as a kid in the 60's.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:32 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by DGM View Post
This brings me back to watching the NASA launches as a kid in the 60's.
And missing the school bus when there was a hold on a launch.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:38 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
And missing the school bus when there was a hold on a launch.
It was a big think back then, it rated coverage on all three TV channels.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:42 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by DGM View Post
It was a big think back then, it rated coverage on all three TV channels.
CBS, NBC, and the new kid.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:44 AM   #147
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New Horizon should be in collection mode right now -- assuming all is well. It will turn to communicate with the DSN in roughly 5 hours and that signal should be received roughly 9 hours 11 minutes from now. Canberra may be sending some pre-scripted command sequence to fit in to that timeline.
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:48 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by DGM View Post
If they are just sending a wake up call (so to speak), The reply would be ~9 hours from now, right?
That's a hell of a snooze button!
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:48 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
This stuff is really common in communications and data storage (CD's and hard drives all use data correction algorithms), and there's a large body of mathematical work describing optimal efficiencies versus expected error rates, etc. NASA will undoubtedly be using error correction in their communications, but it's probably standard off-the-shelf stuff, because this data isn't "sensitive" in the way that military communications might be.
Yes, and the decoders for these can both accept and produce probabilities for each bit (soft decision), which is really useful for satellite communications as you generally have a certainty associated with each bit as you receive it. Various types of decoders are then wrapped to provide the desired error correction strength and properties. They get very very close to the shannon limit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noisy-...coding_theorem

As many deep space probes do, new horizons uses what is known as a "Turbo code"

http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~tcase/N...INAL_Deboy.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_code
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Old 14th July 2015, 08:53 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
"One hundred and sixty dollars?"
So cheap 'cause an e-book. For sure you want a few copies of paperback version, for just forty more or so
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Old 14th July 2015, 09:52 AM   #151
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So everybody's doing Disney Pluto memes, I thought I'd take a different tack...

https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/8536850944/hD9AF9D6E/
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Old 14th July 2015, 10:24 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Wonderful example of pareidolia.
Are you sure?

Maybe it's proof that Walt Disney was an alien?

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Old 14th July 2015, 10:46 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
I was suggesting that it would be captured by Pluto's gravity. It would have to slow considerably for that to happen, and that would have meant a longer trip with a "turn-over" somewhere near half way. Just curious as to how much time that would add to the trip.
This mission was optimized for viewing in ~10 years (in case there are big changes and the atmosphere freezes out in the next few years). With that constraint, the speed on arrival is way too high to remove.

The "low-fuel" option to stay would be to *just* arrive at the target with almost no extra speed and use a tiny bit of thruster to enter orbit. The time to do that from the sun is equal to half the orbit period. For Pluto, that would be a one-way trip time of more than 100 years. The more fuel you carry to kill the speed at target, the more time you can shave off that.

If the planets lined up perfectly, you could probably do something where you took a fast trajectory to Neptune, then used it to slow down a final leg to Pluto, leaving it slow enough to enter orbit. But I'd imagine that you'd still need a fair bit of fuel for deceleration and probably more than 15 years.
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Old 14th July 2015, 11:40 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by One Skunk Todd View Post
Also, the antenna on New Horizons is not steerable, so the whole spacecraft has to be turned to transmit, which means you're no longer collecting data. So you've got to balance the two, and right now at closest approach it's heavily skewed toward data collection, with bulk transmission later after there's not much to look at.*



*Until they reach the further KBOs, but that's a while from now.


Ok, Ok ... I get it already!!

Just tell me when the thumbnails will be available on iTunes so I can go through the RAW pics and choose the ones I want NASA to convert to Hi-Res for me!
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:01 PM   #155
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Okay, we've gotten a picture back. Has anyone 'identified' any alien structures yet?
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:04 PM   #156
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Has anyone not ?
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:06 PM   #157
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How long did it take for those photos to arrive at Earth?
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:09 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Lennart Hyland View Post
How long did it take for those photos to arrive at Earth?
About 4 hours, I think.
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:18 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Okay, we've gotten a picture back. Has anyone 'identified' any alien structures yet?
The windowless towers of Yuggoth are mostly subterranean.
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:22 PM   #160
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Another cool astronomical scaling tool.
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