What is First Generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRSS)?

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Aug 16, 2023

The First Generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRSS) possess a range of impressive capabilities designed to support seamless communication in space. Its Multiple Access Antenna is equipped with 30 elements, with 12 duplexed for transmit and 30 for receive operations. It facilitates S-band communications with circular polarization in the Left Hand Circular (LHC) orientation. The antenna has ± 13° conical field-of-view, enabling efficient space-to-ground link communications.

The TDRSS features a Space-to-Ground Link Antenna, equipped with a 2.0-meter Ku-band antenna. The antenna is crucial for establishing communication with the White Sands Complex (WSC)/Guam Remote Ground Terminal (GRGT), facilitating uplink and downlink operations. The Space-to-Ground Link Antenna utilizes perpendicular, linear polarization to ensure reliable and robust data transmission.

The satellite is equipped with two Solar Panels that efficiently harness solar energy to power its operations in space. It has two Single Access Antennas capable of dual-frequency communications, supporting both S-band and Ku-band transmissions. These antennas offer circular polarization options in either Left Hand Circular (LHC) or Right Hand Circular (RHC) orientations. Their ± 22° E-W and ± 28° N-S rectangular field-of-view enhance communication coverage, enabling communication with a wide range of ground stations. The TDRSS is equipped with an Omni Antenna dedicated to S-band Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) functions. The antenna utilizes Left Hand Circular (LHC) polarization to facilitate reliable data exchange and command execution in all directions.

The First Generation TDRSS stands as a remarkable feat in space communication technology, employing an array of sophisticated antennas and capabilities to enable continuous and efficient communication between spacecraft and ground stations. Its circular polarization, wide field-of-view, and multi-frequency support empower it to meet the diverse needs of space missions, space explorations, and scientific research.

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