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

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Aug 16, 2023

The third Generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRSS) is equipped with a range of advanced capabilities, aimed at enhancing space communication to unprecedented levels. The Multiple Access Antenna features 32 receive antenna elements and 15 transmit antenna elements, allowing for efficient and robust communication. Utilizing S-band communications and Left Hand Circular (LHC) polarization, the antenna ensures reliable data exchange with a focus on enhancing space-to-ground links. To efficiently power its operations in space, the satellite is equipped with two Solar Panels, harness solar energy. The Space-to-Ground Link Antenna is optimized for communication with the White Sands Complex (WSC)/Guam Remote Ground Terminal (GRGT), utilizing perpendicular, linear polarization for reliable data transmission.

The TDRSS has two Single Access Antennas that support tri-frequency communications, enabling seamless data exchange in S-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band frequencies. This remarkable versatility in communication frequencies allows the satellite to adapt to the diverse needs of various space missions, ensuring smooth and efficient communication.

The third Generation TDRSS is equipped with both Forward Omni Antenna and AFT Omni Antenna for S-band Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) functions. These Omni Antennas provide comprehensive and reliable data exchange and command execution in all directions, enhancing the operational flexibility of the satellite.

The third Generation TDRSS stands as a significant leap forward in space communication technology, featuring cutting-edge antennas and capabilities to meet the demands of modern space missions. Its enhanced multi-frequency communication capabilities, improved space-to-ground links, and advanced Omni Antennas make it a crucial asset in facilitating seamless and real-time communication between space missions and ground control facilities.

Click here to learn more about TDRSS.


Space Missions - A list of all Space Missions


Name Date
Altius 01 May, 2025
Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) 01 Mar, 2024
Eutelsat Quantum 30 Jul, 2021
Sentinel 6 21 Nov, 2020
Cheops 18 Dec, 2019
EDRS 06 Aug, 2019
BepiColombo 20 Oct, 2018
Aeolus 22 Aug, 2018
Sentinel 3B 25 Apr, 2018
Sentinel 5 13 Oct, 2017


Name Date
INSAT-3DS 17 Feb, 2024
XPoSat 01 Jan, 2024
Aditya-L1 02 Sep, 2023
DS-SAR 30 Jul, 2023
Chandrayaan-3 14 Jul, 2023
NVS-01 29 May, 2023
TeLEOS-2 22 Apr, 2023
OneWeb India-2 26 Mar, 2023
EOS-07 10 Feb, 2023
EOS-06 26 Nov, 2022


Name Date
XRISM 07 Sep, 2023
SLIM 07 Sep, 2023
ALOS-3 07 Mar, 2023
ISTD-3 07 Oct, 2022
HTV9 21 May, 2020
HTV8 25 Sep, 2019
HTV7 23 Sep, 2018
HTV6 09 Dec, 2016
HTV5 19 Aug, 2015
HTV4 04 Aug, 2013


Name Date
NEO Surveyor 01 Jun, 2028
Libera 01 Dec, 2027
Europa Clipper 10 Oct, 2024
SpaceX CRS-29 09 Nov, 2023
Psyche 13 Oct, 2023
DSOC 13 Oct, 2023
Psyche Asteroid 05 Oct, 2023
Expedition 70 27 Sep, 2023
SpaceX Crew-7 25 Aug, 2023
STARLING 18 Jul, 2023