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Proceedings Paper

Remote observing with NASA's Deep Space Network
Author(s): T. B. H. Kuiper; W. A. Majid; S. Martinez; C. Garcia-Miro; J. R. Rizzo
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Paper Abstract

The Deep Space Network (DSN) communicates with spacecraft as far away as the boundary between the Solar System and the interstellar medium. To make this possible, large sensitive antennas at Canberra, Australia, Goldstone, California, and Madrid, Spain, provide for constant communication with interplanetary missions. We describe the procedures for radioastronomical observations using this network. Remote access to science monitor and control computers by authorized observers is provided by two-factor authentication through a gateway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. To make such observations practical, we have devised schemes based on SSH tunnels and distributed computing. At the very minimum, one can use SSH tunnels and VNC (Virtual Network Computing, a remote desktop software suite) to control the science hosts within the DSN Flight Operations network. In this way we have controlled up to three telescopes simultaneously. However, X-window updates can be slow and there are issues involving incompatible screen sizes and multi-screen displays. Consequently, we are now developing SSH tunnel-based schemes in which instrument control and monitoring, and intense data processing, are done on-site by the remote DSN hosts while data manipulation and graphical display are done at the observer's host. We describe our approaches to various challenges, our experience with what worked well and lessons learned, and directions for future development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8448, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems IV, 84480T (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925201
Show Author Affiliations
T. B. H. Kuiper, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
W. A. Majid, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
S. Martinez, European Space Astronomy Ctr. (Spain)
C. Garcia-Miro, Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex (Spain)
J. R. Rizzo, Ctr. de Astrobiología, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8448:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems IV
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Fernando Comeron, Editor(s)

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