CSIRO to help provide 'live' video of Mars mission

Oct 16, 2008
CSIRO to help provide 'live' video of Mars mission
CSIRO ICT Center researcher, Dr John Bunton. Credit: CSIRO

When the Americans eventually send a manned mission to Mars, the whole world will be able to watch 'live' television coverage of the event courtesy of CSIRO know-how.

The US space agency NASA has announced that CSIRO research scientist, Dr John Bunton, is to receive a NASA Space Act Board Award for research into the development of a novel 'beamformer' capable of providing a live video link from Mars.

A senior member of the CSIRO ICT Centre Wireless Technology laboratory, Dr Bunton developed a design for the 'Deep Space Array Based Network Beamformer'. The award will be formally presented at the US Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, on 28 October.

He said NASA required a live video link from Mars for its planned future manned mission, however the current Deep Space Network does not have enough 'sensitivity' for the task, even with its 70m antenna.

"One solution is to employ a large antenna array, possibly with 400, 12m antennas, but this solution requires data from all antennas to be added together in a very precise manner," Dr Bunton said.

Dr Bunton subsequently suggested an alternative – a novel frequency domain beamformer architecture.

In Dr Bunton's design, the video signal data is divided into narrow channels and transported to beamformer boards. Each board sums the narrow channel data from all 400 antennas. This data can then be reconstructed back into a broadband signal.

A prototype system based on the frequency domain beamformer has been built at the JPL and shown to work on signals from NASA's Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn.

Dr Bunton's research is also important to the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder project and has other potential applications in space communications and earth sensing.

The CSIRO ICT Centre is home to one of the world's leading wireless technology laboratories whose recent achievements include developing the world's first six Gigabits per second wireless link.

Source: CSIRO Australia

Explore further: Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

3 hours ago

A century-old firm that's done custom metal work for some of the nation's most prestigious buildings has combined 3-D printing and an ancient foundry process for a project at the National Archives Building in Washington, ...

Wearable device helps vision-impaired avoid collision

21 hours ago

People who have lost some of their peripheral vision, such as those with retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, or brain injury that causes half visual field loss, often face mobility challenges and increased likelihood ...

Applications of optical fibre for sensors

Mar 26, 2015

Mikel Bravo-Acha's PhD thesis has focused on the applications of optical fibre as a sensor. In the course of his research, conducted at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, he monitored a sensor fitted to optical fibre ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.