Conical-scan tracking with the 64-m-diameter antenna at goldstone
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The theory and experimental work which demonstrated the feasibility of conical-scan tracking with a 64 m diameter paraboloid antenna is documented. The purpose of this scheme is to actively track spacecraft and radio sources continuously with an accuracy superior to that obtained by manual correction of the computer driven pointing. The conical-scan implementation gives increased tracking accuracy with X-band spacecraft signals, as demonstrated in the Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 mission. Also, the high accuracy and ease of measurement with conical-scan tracking allow evaluation of systematic and random antenna tracking errors.
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