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apollo 11 tracking stations

L-R: Mike Linney, Geoff Ruck, ? etc. Madrid. During the lunar surface operations of the Apollo 15,16 and 17 missions a lunar rover vehicle (LRV) transported two astronauts across the lunar surface while the orbiting CM astronaut simultaneously conducted scientific experiments and launched a sub-satellite into a lunar orbit. Stirling Finlay in the Wire Room c. 1973. There were two racks of ten switch modules in each rack, which enabled rapid reconfiguration of peripherals. Preserved and scanned by Neil Sandford, restoration Colin Mackellar. The above signal combinations varied depending on a particular mission phase or event in the overall flight plan and were referred to as the downlink modes. https://www.space.com/how-nasa-tracked-apollo-11-communications.html The CP3 and CP4 computers were UNIVAC type 1218 (CP-789/UYK) with a word length of 18 binary bits. The ultra high-speed data transfer rates required that the physical inter-computer cable lengths be as short as possible. Bill Perrin at the telemetry monitoring console during Apollo 15. The television signals were recorded on Ampex VR 660 and VR 1100 video recorders. Frank Campbell loading a punched paper tape containing acquisition data at the Antenna Position Programmer (APP). At T-17 minutes, the Battle Short function at the wing stations was enabled. During mission support times the Technical Support Section were responsible for the daily collection of all of the magnetic tapes, high speed printout, paper chart rolls and console TTY printouts. The moment the launch vehicle left the ground the GET clock would count through zero and begin counting up, and continue counting in hours, minutes and seconds until the end of the mission. When not coping with the chaotic demands of the daily list, the transport officer attended to fleet management tasks of vehicle repairs, registrations, accidents, insurance claims amongst other related paperwork. Detail from this photo. Photo: Hamish Lindsay. They did exactly what the names suggest. If a PEP comparison error was encountered due to a NASCOM line drop-out or a noise glitch the whole of the MCC transmission sequence (command word plus each corresponding PEP code) would be ignored. Aboard Eagle, Armstrong and Aldrin, who had been facing the surface to track landmarks, yawed the lander to … We played softball and soccer, went fishing and diving. Three main forms of time were displayed around the operations areas: Universal Time (UT) also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or Zulu (Z) time. The canteen was managed and operated by the delightful Betty and Horrie Clissold along with a small team of assistants. Sitemap From Hamish Lindsay’s July 1969 staff photo. Image restoration Colin Mackellar. Specific telemetry data and biomedical formats, spacecraft commands and tracking data that were more closely tailored to give the flight controllers confidence that the station was correctly configured and ready to support the upcoming events in the mission flight plan. More here. Seven diesel alternators (generators) supplied more than enough electric power for the whole station. recorders on the left and the older Ampex VR1100 on the right. The main link to Tidbinbilla (via a passive repeater on Dead Man’s Hill) is the large dish facing the camera. The four computers and the associated peripheral equipment met U.S. military ruggedized specifications and were supplied by UNIVAC, Division of Sperry Rand Corp. The charlie loop was an alternate to the alpha loop and usually coordinated operational matters pertaining to telemetry and computer data. 'Chapowear' featuring notorious drug lord debuts in Mexico, This story has been shared 207,236 times. The right hand console was manned by a senior staff member, referred to as OPS2, responsible for the data processing of all telemetry, command and voice communications entering and leaving the station. Also, it had to be able to rapidly ‘acquire’ the signal especially if the spacecraft was in low earth orbit. All spacecraft commands were received by the station’s CMD computer via a NASCOM high-speed (4.8 kBPS) data line from the MCC. The servo control console faced the only window in the operations area, to enable the servo operator to observe the movement of the antenna. The antenna pointing had to be extremely accurate due to the narrow beam width of the antenna, particularly at lunar distance. NASA needed tracking stations — 14 in total, dotted around the planet — to keep in contact. ‘The Mandalorian’ vs. ‘The Boys’ vs. ‘Star Trek: Picard’ vs. ‘Tiger King’: What Was The Biggest Streaming Show of 2020? The time from the start of the SRT Phase 3 through to the end of the H-70 interface testing was one of the busiest and most activity intensive periods of Apollo tracking support. I was the only one there. Operations were divided into clearly defined areas within the Honeysuckle Creek (HSK) Tracking station. The TLM computer also informed the CMD computer of the MAP via the intercomputer channel at which time the CMD computer wrote a further record to the command history magnetic tape. Both CP1 and CP2 had four tape handlers duplexed to each computer while CP3 and CP4 shared two tape handlers. Photo: Ian Hahn. The TLM computer stripped out the critical parameters into different formats as defined for each mission phase and transmitted them to the MCC. An Expanded Memory Unit (EMU) increased each computer’s memory capacity to a total of 64k words. Also contained within the PCS was an Interface System Adapter which performed three functions. Large, Larger (2.6MB). One Saturday morning in the local paper was a want ad for engineers to work on Apollo. PCM data was digitised and decomutated into predefined formats selected for specific phases of the mission before being sent to the telemetry (TLM) computer. They worked well but were extremely hard to repair. At the Power Amp control panels (far left) is Bruce Cameron, and at the Receivers, Len Litherland and Eric Gadd. John Saxon and Ian Grant are seated at the Ops Console. All internal commands were hardwired. From a Super 8 movie by Ed von Renouard. When selected, the battle short function bypassed all of the safety features such as under voltage, over voltage, high temperature, and cooling fan failure conditions. Tracking Operations Description. : Devine, Chrissy Teigen slammed for 'tone deaf' inauguration tweet, Mitch McConnell's betrayal hurts the nation: Goodwin, Watch: Trump delivers farewell speech celebrating legacy, My Pillow reportedly dropped by big retailers over Mike Lindell's Trump visit, All-Clad discounts luxury cookware up to 70 percent off for VIP event, Top antivirus software Malwarebytes extends 40% holiday discount, These anti-blue light items will prevent eyestrain and help you sleep better, 18 affordable ways to pamper your dog or cat this year, Make it through 2021 with one of these top-rated meditation apps, Whale puke is worth a big 'chunk' of cash. Background: The Apollo 11 Television Plan The original mission plan of Apollo 11 had the astronauts performing the Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), or moonwalk, shortly after landing at 20:16 on 20 July (GMT). Typical high priority TTY messages included the Site Configuration Message (SCM), prediction of the 29 sky track points between acquisition and loss of signal (AOS and LOS) times (referred to as the ‘29-Pointer’) and the Station Status Reports. Photo: The Battle Short indicator on one of the Power Amplifier consoles at Honeysuckle Creek. Any individual small component, printed circuit board, sub/assembly, unit or complete chassis had a manufacture’s part number which had to be cross referenced to its unique FSN. The station was opened in 1967 and closed in 1981. After the successful completion of CADFISS testing the station came under the control of the MCC at Houston when it entered a countdown of seventy minutes (H-70) to the initial acquisition of the spacecraft signal (AOS). The Wire Room also contained the terminal equipment for the broadband microwave link to the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station twenty kilometers away to the north. Commands consisted of instructions to the spacecraft subsystems, primarily to relieve the astronauts of routine housekeeping tasks. Special radio stations transmitting in the HF short-wave bands known as WWV and WWVH were used for a coarse time check. Biomed data from the astronaut’s suits along with engineering data from the LRV was received and processed through the Analog Multiplexer Quantizer (AMQ) units and passed onto the TLM computer. From Tom Reid’s album, with thanks to John Saxon. All computers were supplied with magnetic core memory. Spacecraft commands, sent from MCC, were normally received at the station via a high speed data line, validity checked and transmitted by the CMD computer to the USB section via an Up-Data Buffer (UDB) or special purpose modem and then onto the appropriate PA transmitter. Spacecraft which launched from Cape Canaveral, known as Cape Kennedy during that time, passed close to Carnarvon on their first orbits around the Earth. These unique I/O channel configurations eventually became known as a form of parallel processing where two or more central processing units shared a greatly expanded common memory system. The latter was more preferable, of course, being without any hard connection. When the spacecraft received and accepted the command data, it included a Message Acceptance Parameter (MAP) within the telemetry down-link data which the TLM computer also inserted into the telemetry data stream being sent to the MCC. The tapes were sent from Goddard to a storage facility of the National Archives in late 1969. Don Loughhead, Bryan Sullivan, Geoff Seymour, (1218 operator ?? This also provided a more realistic test using the main dish or the acquisition antenna. Such messages were referred to as ‘predicts’. Scan: Stirling Finlay. All the LM biomed and life support data was routed down separate analog FM telemetry channels to the PAM processing equipment, which converted the analog information into digital data. Line Printer left foreground, Punch Card Reader center left, Line Printer left rear, eight Magnetic Tape Units at rear with four Disc Drive Units in front, two Operators Consoles in the centre. Each of the four military computers had three physical jump switches (J1, J2 & J3) for such purposes. Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Australia. Mike Dinn worked at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, just outside of Canberra, during Apollo 11. How it all worked. The prime frequency source was a Hewlett Packard Cesium Beam Frequency Standard which provided a stability of around 1 in 10-10 3 for engineering/technical discussions between stations and MCC/Goddard Spaceflight Centre (GSFC). Photo from the Tidbinbilla archives. Honeysuckle Creek All of the Apollo telemetry information from the CM, LM or LRV systems including engineering, navigational and biomedical data was received by the TLM computer. Longitude. (There’s also a complete Apollo 11 Flight Plan here.). That is not a typo — 32,000 bytes. Each board with its discrete components was hermetically sealed in epoxy resin and consequently they were unrepairable on site. The Station is located to provide communications with the Shuttle Orbiter during Launch assent when the Solid Rocket Motor plume blocks radio signals to the … Station Director Tom Reid and Operations Supervisor Ken Lee seated at the Operations Console. As Apollo missions progressed the complexity of downlink subcarrier signals processing increased dramatically. The video signal, which was frequency modulated directly on to the S-Band carrier in the spacecraft, was received by the station via the 50 MHz FM subcarrier. The LRV was fitted with a Lunar Communications Relay Unit (LCRU) which transmitted a separate down link signal to the ground tracking stations. For Apollo 11, Honeysuckle tracked the lunar module, Eagle, and its astronauts during their moon walk. It was quickly followed by a second earth station at Moree in northwest NSW, which opened in March 1968. (250kb mp3 file. Polarization: Right or Left Hand Circular, remotely switchable. As the signal to the United States was lost, it was picked up by engineers on a small pile of rock in the middle of the Atlantic: my home for two years, Ascension Island. Photo: Hamish Lindsay. We went back to our work with a real sense of dedication. A Station Simulation System was designed and assembled by the technical staff at Honeysuckle for the purposes of operator training as well as carrying out quick pre-track signal and data flow checks. High-flow coolant heat exchangers for each of the Power Amplifiers (PA’s or transmitters) was housed in a separate shed adjacent to the concrete antenna pad. The simulated S-Band signal from the Sim. During the H-70 count extensive testing of the voice circuits switching (air/ground checks) were conducted to ensure the correct voice uplink paths through the station were correctly configured.

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