Deep Space Network
One Of the Largest and Most Sensitive Telecommunications Systems On Earth
NASA's Deep Space Network is an international collection of antennas that support NASA's spacecraft missions as well as radar and radio observatories that explore the solar system and universe. Originally designed by JPL and built by General Dynamics, the antennas enable the Deep Space Network to communicate with existing flight missions such as the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spitzer Space telescope, Saturn explorer Cassini, as well as support future NASA space missions.
About the Deep Space Network Antennas
General Dynamics has built nine 34-meter antennas for NASA's Deep Space Network. The beam waveguide-style antennas house sensitive electronics and systems in a room that is inside of the antenna's ground-based pedestal rather than in the center of the dish or reflector. This design makes it easier for technicians to maintain the equipment as well as implement technology upgrades. General Dynamics is also responsible for the construction, integration and testing for two new antennas, designated Deep Space Stations 35 and 36.
Updating The Deep Space Network
There are three Deep Space Network facilities, located 120 degrees apart, in California, Spain and Australia. This strategic placement enables constant observation and communication as the Earth rotates, making the Deep Space Network one of the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications systems in the world.
General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies is currently building two 34-meter (112-foot wide) beam waveguide antennas as part of NASA's modernization and transformation plan to continue scientific studies of the Earth as well as explore distant bodies in the solar system. The new antennas will be located at the Deep Space Network (DSN) facility in Canberra, Australia.