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Human No More 12-14-2010 12:29 PM

Voyager reaching Solar System's edge
:D :D
BBC News - Voyager near Solar System's edge

Sadly it will never reach any new systems... but we can certainly get data about interstellar space :)
Also, Voyager is so impressive when you consider it is 33 years old and still giving great data :)

Sight Unseen 12-20-2010 04:18 PM

Impressive indeed. Now that's reliability, especially when you consider how much IC's and Vidicon/equivalent tubes don't like radiation, and Voyager's been exposed to a lot of radiation.

Interesting info:

The Imaging Science Subsystem, made up of a wide angle and a narrow angle camera, is a modified version of the slow scan vidicon camera designs that were used in the earlier Mariner flights.

Only five investigator teams are still supported, though data is collected for two additional instruments.[3] The Flight Data Subsystem (FDS) and a single eight-track digital tape recorder (DTR) provide the data handling functions.

There are three different computer types on the Voyager spacecraft and there are two of each kind. Total number of words among the six computers is about 32K.

Computer Command System (CCS) - 18-bit word, interrupt type processors (2) with 4096 words each of plated wire, non-volatile memory.

Flight Data System (FDS) - 16-bit word machine (2) with modular memories and 8198 words each

Attitude and Articulation Control System (AACS) - 18-bit word machines (2) with 4096 words each.

Uplink communications is via S band (16-bit/s command rate) while an X band transmitter provides downlink telemetry at 160 bit/s normally and 1.4 kbit/s for playback of high-rate plasma wave data. All data is transmitted from and received at the spacecraft via the 3.7-meter high-gain antenna.
Sadly, Voyager won't have enough power to make any measurements by the time it reaches interstellar space.

Human No More 12-20-2010 09:35 PM

Epic :)

Makes me wonder what data we could get if we built one today... :(

Sight Unseen 12-21-2010 05:29 AM


Originally Posted by Human No More (Post 118463)
Makes me wonder what data we could get if we built one today... :(

Well, New Horizons has 2 8GB SSDs for recording data, a 1024x1024 color radiator-chlled CCD for a camera, and a Mongoose-V (12MHz MIPS R3000) for the main flight computer. It can uplink with earth at almost 38kbps right now (possibly double that if they can successfully operate the 2 traveling wave amplifiers in tandem), which will slow to 1000baud (or 2000baud) when it gets to Pluto.

It's a major upgrade to the Voyagers, but they're doing all this just to go to one lonely rock. It needs to be done, but why not build another one specifically to measure interstellar space? Now that would be interesting. The main reason Voyager won't work for measuring the termination shock is Voyager 2's magnetometer was heated to death by a wrongly interpreted command, and Voyager 1 won't have enough power to do gyroscopic maneuvers to calibrate its working magnetometer when it gets there. But New Horizons has a good possibility of working that far, and since it has the most stable radio transmitter vs voyager 1 or 2, there's a good possibility that it may be able to measure the heliopause, heliosheath, and termination shock accurately. Nothing man-made has ever made it to interstellar space still functional enough to measure its properties. What will we find?

Human No More 12-21-2010 08:21 AM

Pandora, I hope :P

...can always hope :(

Either way, getting data on interstellar space is great, especially if we are one day going to be travelling between systems.

Sight Unseen 12-22-2010 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by Human No More (Post 118595)
Pandora, I hope :P

...can always hope :(

^ This.

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