JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence

An Overview of the Telecom System for the Mars Exploration Rovers: Design Challenges and Performance Highlights

Presented by:
Dr. Polly Estabrook
Lead Telecom System Engineer, MER (331)


The MER Telecommunications System establishes communication between the spacecraft and the Deep Space Network at X band and various Mars orbiters at UHF. The X band communication system operates during all three mission phases: cruise, EDL (entry, descent and landing), and surface; the UHF communication system operates during EDL and on the surface. The communication links are used to support navigation requirements during the cruise phase and the surface phase. The key performance requirements and major telecommunications system engineering challenges faced in building these systems will be discussed and their final performance described. The Communications Behavior Manager software that configures both telecommunications systems for use will also be briefly described.

The Speaker

Polly Estabrook is the lead telecom system engineer for the Mars Exploration Rover Project. She is also the group supervisor of the Advanced Communications Systems Concepts Group in the Communications Systems and Research Section at JPL.

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