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Radio doppler experiment (astro)

  1. Apr 21, 2012 #1
    Ive been going through some landers of Venus and Mars and I found they were equipped with radio doppler experiment(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_9 )

    I was wondering what this does.
    I mean there is radio signal transmitted through space everywhere and i suppose the device would measure this transmitted radio.
    But is there doppler shift because the planet the lander is on is orbitting the Sun?
    If the planet orbitting the Sun is the reason for doppler shift, is the doppler shift experiment simply to measure how fast the planet is going?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2012 #2


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    If I had to guess, I'd say that it had to do with wind speed measurements. Something akin to the Doppler radar we use for weather forecasting.
  4. Apr 21, 2012 #3


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    This is not a guess.

    Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) for the Europa
    Jupiter System Mission
    Major components of the initiative scientific study and R&D activity:
    1. VLBI tracking of the planetary probes
    2. Doppler tracking in the One-Way or Multi-Way signal reception mode
    3. Propagation media effects study
    4. Direct-to Earth telemetry data reception from planetary probes, landers, penetrators, etc
    5. Passive radio spectroscopy of the natural molecular lines from planetary environments


    There is a specific experiment for measuring the wind speed on Jupiter during the descent of a spacecraft. Google is your friend here.
  5. Apr 21, 2012 #4


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    In the Venera 9 mission, radar doppler instruments were primarily intended for bistatic mapping of the surface of Venus, which would permit extraction of surface profiles. For further details see http://www.mentallandscape.com/V_RadarMapping.htm
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