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Thursday, July 21, 2022

Webb Space Telescope Has Profound Data Challenges

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The Webb Space Telescope's Profound Data Challenges

By IEEE Spectrum, July 15, 2022

The Lagrange points are equilibrium locations where competing gravitational tugs on an object net out to zero. The James Webb Space Telescope is one of two other craft currently occupying L2.  The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)'s data-collecting operations present a number of challenges, including dependence on a reliable communications subsystem.

The spacecraft is sending data up to 57 gigabytes (GB) of data per day back to Earth on a 25.9-gigahertz channel at up to 28 megabits per second.  Data recorded by the JWST's scientific instruments is stored in the spacecraft's 68-GB solid-state drive, which can collect data for about 24 hours before reaching its limit.

Only after the spacecraft receives confirmation of a data file's receipt will it delete its onboard copy of the data to clear space.   The telescope will stay connected to Earth through the Deep Space Network, sharing limited antenna time with other deep-space missions.

From IEEE Spectrum

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