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Pluto Kuiper Express


Telecommunications Description

Current plans are for Pluto Express to use the advanced technology Small Deep Space Transponder (SDST) for communications with the Deep Space Network (DSN). For this, the uplink is in the X-band (7.1 GHz) and the downlink in the Ka-band (32 GHz). The data rate through the High Gain Antenna (HGA) will provide data rates from 150-450 bits/s at Pluto, depending on the configurations of the DSN ground station used. A Low Gain Antenna (LGA) is also planned to be included for use early in the mission for those times when the HGA is not pointed directly at the Earth. Although this is useful for initial acquisition of the spacecraft signal after launch and for certain contingencies, the LGA will not be usable after the spacecraft passes Mars' orbit and operations will depend entirely on the HGA.

Telemetry Path

Telemetry support via Deep Space Network (DSN)

Effective Telemetry

0.04 kbps

Telemetry Rates

0.025 - 0.45 kbps

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams

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