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Bistatic observations of Titan's surface with the Huygens probe radio signal

Bistatic observations of Titan's surface with the Huygens probe radio signal

Publication date: 26 July 2006

Authors: Pérez-Ayúcar, M. et al.

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 111
Issue: E7
Year: 2006

Copyright: American Geophysical Union

Huygens provided an unanticipated bistatic radio scattering experiment from Titan's surface. After a successful entry and descent on Titan, on 14 January 2005, the probe remarkably survived the landing and continued radioing from the surface to the overflying Cassini, until the orbiter set below Titan's local horizon. Here we report high-quality measurements of the 2098 MHz (14.3 cm) postlanding radio signal, focusing on the striking variations observed in signal strength. The mechanism that creates this fading pattern is physically interpreted as multipath interference between the direct signal and the signal reflected on Titan's surface. The geophysical aspects that could bear on the signal analysis are described.

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