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An Array Feed Radial Basis Function Tracking System for NASA's Deep Space Network Antennas

Summary: An Array Feed Radial Basis Function Tracking System
for NASA's Deep Space Network Antennas
R. Mukai, P. Arabshahi, V.A.Vilnrotter
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Dr., MS 238-343
Pasadena, CA 911098099 USA
{mukai, payman, vic}@dsp.jpl.nasa.gov
Abstract: The use of radial basis function networks for fine pointing NASA's 70-meter deep space network
antennas is described and evaluated. We demonstrate that such a network, working in conjunction with the
array feed compensation system, and trained using the computationally efficient orthogonal least-squares
algorithm, can point a 70-meter deep space antenna with rms errors of less than 0.3 millidegree under
good signal-to-noise ratio conditions, achieving significantly higher accuracies than the 0.8 millidegree
benchmark for communications at Ka-band frequencies of 32 GHz.
1 Problem Statement
The NASA Deep Space Network or DSN is an international network of steerable, high-gain reflector
antennas, which supports interplanetary spacecraft missions, radio and radar astronomy observations for the
exploration of the solar system and the universe, and select Earth-orbiting missions. The DSN currently
consists of three deep-space communication facilities, placed approximately 120 apart around the world, at
Goldstone, in California's Mojave Desert; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia. This strategic


Source: Arabshahi, Payman - Applied Physics Laboratory & Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle


Collections: Engineering