Thursday, September 12, 2013
Answer about the tape drive on Voyager from NASAJPL AMA on Reddit
I am curious how the tape drive is performing, or if it had to be shut off in the interest of power savings (maybe part of the camera system).
is the camera "multi pixel", or is it a single scanning pixel, similar to the Viking camera.
Also who made the tape drive / system?
I don't know who made it, but the tape recorder on Voyager is still doing fine, thank you. The high resolution plasma wave data is recorded on it a couple times a week (all of 48 seconds each time) and played back a few times per year. Interestingly, the lowest playback rate is 7,200 bits per second, but the fastest telemetry rate to the ground (using 1 70-meter and 1 34-meter DSN station ganged together) is 1,200 bps. So while the first 800 bytes are being transmitted, the next 4000 fall on the floor. While this sounds like a waste, those 800 bytes are really precious! And, yes, eventually we won't have enough power to run it. Bill
appreciate the reply. The drive on Galileo was made by Odetics in Anaheim, and I was wondering if you guys recalled for sure whether they did this one. I had business with them in the 80's and they are an interesting bunch.
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