地球到火星的通信问题

我比较感兴趣的一个问题就是火星与地球的通信如何解决。看了些网站报道,顺便翻译了一下。有一个报道说通信的带宽大约是250,000比特,这大约是电话线拨号速率的5倍,所以要传输全副彩色图像还是很耗时的。关于火星风光,推荐看电影John Carter。地球到火星的最近距离是5000万公里,在这个距离上的最近年份是2003年,最远距离是4亿公里,平均距离是2亿公里,因此如果在地球与火星之间打电话的话,延时大约有十几分钟。

After NASA's Curiosity rover lands on Mars this weekend, one of its first orders of business will be to call home。 

美国国家宇航局"好奇"号探测车在周末降落火星之后的首要任务就是和地球联系。

Mission managers back on Earth will be eagerly awaiting news of the $2。5 billion Mars Science Laboratory rover, which is due to land at 10:30 p。m。 PDT on Aug。 5 (1:30 a。m。 EDT Aug。 6), beginning a two-year mission。 In fact, for the first 90 days of the mission, controllers will work together as if each day were 24 hours and 40 minutes long — the approximate length of a Martian day。

在地球上的任务管理经理们会焦急的等待这个价值25亿美元的科学实验车发回的消息,在8月6日到达火星后,火星车将开始一个为期两年的任务。实际上,在任务开始的头90天,控制组每天将协同工作24小时40分钟,这是火星上一天的长度。

"It's to get the most use possible for the rover while it's fresh and new on Mars," says Ashwin Vasavada, MSL's deputy project scientist。 "Ideally, we'd do it for the next 10 years, but the reality is, after 90 days it's better for everyone to go back to Earth time。"

"在刚到火星的时候,要尽量让火星车多完成些工作",Ashwin Vasavada说,他是火星科学实验室的助理项目科学家。理想情况是,我们在未来十年里都这样工作,可现实情况是,在90天之后最好每个人都回归地球时间。

Controllers on Earth will have three ways of hailing Curiosity as it trundles around Gale Crater。 Two are direct links through NASA's Deep Space Network, a worldwide collection of antennas。 It provides both a fixed low-gain antenna, best for basic commands and emergencies, and a pointable high-gain antenna for complex commands。

地球上的控制组将有三种方式来操纵"好奇"号围绕盖尔撞击坑近距离考察。其中两种方式将直接通过美国国家宇航局的"远太空跟踪网络",这是一个遍布全球的天线网络。 这个网络即提供了固定的低增益天线,最适合于传输基本命令和紧急信息,也提供了可变指向的高增益天线,用于传输复杂命令。

Curiosity also has a higher-speed ultra-high frequency (UHF) communications system that can send signals to spacecraft orbiting Mars, which in turn would relay them to Earth。

"好奇"号还有一个高速超高频天线通信系统,这个系统可以发送信号到绕火星飞行的太空船,这个太空船会把信号转发回地球。

To send back imagery, Curiosity must stay in touch with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey spacecraft, two probes orbiting Mars that each can talk to the rover twice a day。 ( Odyssey is currently recovering from the loss of one of its three reaction wheels。)

为了传输图像,“好奇”号必须和火星轨道观测卫星以及火星奥德赛太空船取得联系,这两个探测器每天各自有两次机会和火星车通信。

"The high-gain antenna only gives us a moderate amount of bandwidth," Vasavada told Space。com。 "We can transmit a series of commands every morning。 But it's not enough to transmit hundreds of images every day。"

“高增益天线只能给我们提供有限带宽”,Vasavada 告诉网站记者,“我们每天早晨传送一系列命令。但是这个天线不足以每天传送大量照片”

For navigation purposes, the rover has two guidance systems on board。 One keeps the rover apprised of its position on the Red Planet, which is needed to find Earth in the sky and keep in contact with NASA。 The other system calculates how close Curiosity is to rocks and other obstacles。

为了导航,火星车安装有两个导航系统。一个可以获取火星车相对于这个红色星球的位置,这个系统需要确定地球在火星的位置并和美国国家宇航局保持联系。另一个系统计算“好奇”号距离岩石以及其他障碍物的距离。

"For that system, we don't care exactly where we are in the universe," Vasavada said。 "We care about it if we can shoot at this rock with our laser or not。"

“对于这个系统,我们并不关心我们在宇宙中的位置”,Vasavada说,“我只关心我们是否可以使用激光射中某个石块”。

For measuring the distance to rocks and other objects, Curiosity will use several cameras to create stereo range maps and gain a three-dimensional view of its surroundings。

为了测试到岩石和其他物体的距离,“好奇”号使用了几个摄像机来产生立体图像并获得周围环境的三维场景。

Controllers then must decide how Curiosity will guide itself to the target。 It can use a "blind" mode, where it is told to drive a certain distance in one direction, or it can switch to a hazard-avoidance situation, in which the rover frequently checks the environment to make sure it can move safely。

请自学。

Curiosity has sensors to sense if it's slipping, and it will stop movement immediately if it drops beyond a certain threshold。 A previous rover, Spirit, ended its journey in a sand trap, but Vasavada says Curiosity's slip-avoidance system was not necessarily included in response to Spirit's fate。

请自学。

"You just have to make a risk assessment before you send the command," he says。 "Spirit's problem was it was a layered surface。 What was on the surface tricked everyone involved into thinking it was safe to drive on, and then it punched through that layer。"

请自学。

With Curiosity, "we're going to be very careful and have this group of scientists and engineers work together every time we command a drive。"

请自学。

 

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