ABOUT THE AUTHORJim Taylor
Jim Taylor received a B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from Stanford University (Stanford, California) in 1961, with a major in electrical engineering. He received an M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1962. He began his career at the RCA Space Center in Hightstown, New Jersey, working with the communications systems of early Earth-orbiting weather and defense satellites. Inspired by the work being done in deep-space communications as reported in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL's) Space Program Summaries, he joined the JPL Telecommunications Systems Section in 1970.
Mr. Taylor has made a career in flight operations telecommunications prediction and analysis. Beginning with the Mariner Mars mission in 1971, he became centrally involved in planning and assessing capabilities for communications links between spacecraft and the Deep Space Network (DSN). More recently with the Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) mission, he has extended this work to Earth-orbiting spacecraft that communicate with the Near Earth Network (NEN) and the Space Network (SN).
Mr. Taylor has pursued a special interest in the effects of solar interference on radio communications between interplanetary spacecraft and their supporting ground stations. His work in this area on the Galileo project enabled the timely return of Galileo probe data stored on the orbiter during the short period between probe entry and the onset of solar conjunction. For Deep Space 1, he also established the critical-timing and uplink criteria for a special "ground-in-the-loop" activity to reestablish three-axis pointing control after the onboard star-tracker failed.
Mr. Taylor set up the flight telecom team for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) in 2003 and helped bring the new concept of "communications windows" to maturity for both Rover-to-DSN X-band communications and ultra high frequency (UHF) relay communications with the Mars orbiters. He has had a major role in the evolution of the DSN keywords file for Mars rover operations on the surface, most recently for Mars 2020. This file is an input to station automation software to control uplink and downlink operations with minimal intervention by the project mission controller or the station operator.
Mr. Taylor is a principal engineer in the Communications Architecture and Operations Group of the JPL Flight Communications Systems Section, working on telecom analysis, ground system implementation, and flight operations for deep-space and near-Earth flight projects. In 2005, he published an operations handbook for Electra, a UHF proximity radio for communications between Mars orbiters and surface vehicles. In 2021, he was editor of the operations handbook for the Mars Relay Network. He has published telecommunications-analysis articles for several flight projects in JPL's Interplanetary Network Progress Reports as well as "Deep Space Communications" in the DESCANSO book series. He was the founding telecommunications member of JPL's Spaceflight Significant Events Group, now called Lessons Learned. He has received numerous NASA and JPL awards for exceptional technical excellence for his work on Galileo, DS1, MER, and Deep Impact telecommunications. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2000 and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2006.
Editor of Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Author of Chapter 2 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Co-Author of Chapter 3 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Co-Author of Chapter 4 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Co-Author of Chapter 5 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Co-Author of Chapter 6 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Co-Author of Chapter 7 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Co-Author of Chapter 8 from Volume 13 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:
Author or Co-Author of the following articles of the DESCANSO Design & Performance Summary Series - Telecommunications:
- Article 1 Mars Global Surveyor Telecommunications
- Article 2 Deep Space 1 Telecommunications
- Article 3 Cassini Orbiter/Huygens Probe Telecommunications
- Article 4 Voyager Telecommunications
- Article 5 Galileo Telecommunications
- Article 9 Deep Impact Flyby and Impactor Telecommunications
- Article 10 Mars Exploration Rover Telecommunications
- Article 12 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Telecommunications
- Article 13 Dawn Telecommunications
- Article 14 Mars Science Laboratory Telecommunications System Design
- Article 15 Phoenix Telecommunications
- Article 16 Juno Telecommunications
- Article 18 Mars Cube One Telecommunications Subsystem Design
Co-Author of the following articles of the DESCANSO Near Earth Design & Performance Summary Series: