Set-up Huygens Receiver Test #2
A special calibration test is being conducted with the Huygens receivers on board Cassini. The main purpose of the test is to acquire a complete data set that will allow to fully characterize the performances of the flight radio receivers. These data will be used to correlate their performances with those that were measured on the Engineering Model at ESOC and to verify and calibrate a detailed analytical receiver model.
In the past few months, significant progress has been made in understanding the performances of the Huygens radio receivers. A detailed analytical model of its bandwidth has been worked by ESA experts. This model has already been calibrated with the Engineering Model test results. The purpose of the in-flight test is to adjust the parameters in the model to make it match the performance of the flight receivers.
The test started on 31 January and will last 5 days. It uses NASA's Deep Space Antenna in Goldstone to transmit to and receive data from Huygens via Cassini. Each test session lasts about 10 hours per day when the Goldstone antenna is in view of Cassini.