JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence

Deep Space Mission System and Huygens

Presented by:
Dr. Leslie J. Deutsch , Manager, Architecture and Strategic Planning Office, Interplanetary Network Directorateand
Dr. Robert Preston, Chief Scientist, Interplanetary Network Directorate


DESCANSO aficionados are already familiar with some of the work that JPL's communications and radio science experts performed in response to the Huygens probe's communications anomaly. In short, the link as designed would have completely failed during the planned probe mission. Fortunately, the mission was completely replanned based on this analysis. In this presentation, we will also discuss another aspect of JPL's involvement with Huygens, the use of radio telescopes to measure the probe's transmissions during atmospheric entry to assess the probe's performance and to determine Titan's winds, again coming to Huygen's rescue since a similar wind experiment on the probe-orbiter link failed. And, of course, we'll give you the final update on the anomaly.

The Speaker

Dr. Deutsch received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Caltech in 1980, the year he came to JPL. Before occupying his current position, he did research in Section 331, was the Section Manager for a time, and then managed the DSN's Technology Program. He was co-lead in the investigations of the Huygens probe's communications anomaly a few years ago.

Dr. Preston, a JPL astronomer, is the Chief Scientist of the Interplanetary Network Directorate. He previously held several other positions at JPL, including Project Scientist for the Space VLBI Project and supervisor of an astronomical research group, and has been an investigator on radio science experiments on several planetary missions

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