Rescue of data from Pioneer 10 & 11 tapes at JPL needed. Vintagecomputers slated for demolition.

John A. Dundas III dundas at caltech.edu
Wed Jun 8 15:56:41 CDT 2005


At 4:26 PM -0400 6/8/05, William Donzelli wrote:
>  > I don't know anything about these tapes in particular, but it is
>>  possible they were recorded in analog right off the receivers at the
>>  tracking stations (Madrid, Canberra, or Goldstone) and sent to the
>>  Lab.
>
>I think it was always done like this, correct? - redundant analog tape
>machines coming off the redundant receivers. These tapes were then
>processed into the digital data (getting rid of the fades, farts, and
>burps from the radio).

Don't know about always, but certainly for a long time.

I haven't been involved in this for quite some time, but IIRC the 
MkIV receivers output digital, channelized (decommutated) data only, 
no analog, no symbols, etc.  The MkIIIs output at the symbol level, 
so straddling the divide between analog and digital, no 
decommutation, though.  You still had to convert symbols to bits and 
separate the channels.  The MkIVs have been in use since the early 
'90s (approximately).  Maybe they've been replaced by now.  Maybe I 
have my version numbers mixed up but that's roughly the landscape as 
it was when I left.

John




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