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Reliable TT&C during superior solar conjunctions

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Reliable TT&C during superior solar conjunctions

The study aims at investigating technical solutions to design a reliable TT&C system during superior solar conjunctions, to mitigate the detrimental effects of phase and amplitude scintillation, which limit the maneuvers under 5 deg of Sun- Earth-Probe (SEP) angle. After the analysis of data acquired during superior solar conjunctions of Mars Express (MEX) in 2013-2015 and Cassini in 2001-2002, that allowed deriving a mathematical model to be used in the simulations, the current ESA TT&C system has been evaluated, in terms of link performance. Then, technical solutions in several domains (modulation, coding, and system diversity) have been proposed and evaluated using software tools, a baseband and an end-to-end simulator. Finally, the implementation steps for the identified solutions and the roadmap for the next 10 years have been addressed.

Executive summary