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Unmanned > Mars & Missions > MER > Tech, General and Imagery
Random thought. I was just sent an interesting movie, which was a composite of various space stills, with some plasma/wave sounds in the background and a generic 'beep beep' spacecraft noise on top.

But what do spacecraft actually sound like when transmitting - has anyone heard the 'feed' from a DSN dish be deconstructed into an audible wav? Is it like a dial up modem or something else. Do spacecraft at 288kbps sound different to those at 120bps etc? I'm not talking about the spooky interpretations of mag/fields/waves/particles etc that we are treated to - but the actual downlink itself. The only example I can think of is the MEX cannister mode listening to PHX during EDL - but that actually ended up like a plasma/wave observation because of the massive doppler involved!

I remember the BBC 'The Planets' series ( very good, spectacular visuals, but now very out-dated ) - and every time a spacecraft flew past the camera, it made a beautifully doppler shifted 'beep beep beep' sound.

After a third of a century listening to Kraftwerk, I can only hope that they all sound as sweet as the Huygens DISR video (direct download to the .wmv file here).

Your 120bps could be heard - it's heading for the bottom end of audible frequencies - and is presumably a low white noise. You'd have to play the 288kbps much slower than real time to hear anything, unless there are repeating harmonics in there. But "think modem" is surely the best analogy...

Not very palatable, I suspect.

Well, I know what spacecraft development sounds like: "@#$%!!! @#$%!!!...." rolleyes.gif

Actually, though, it would be really interesting to hear an interpolated version of a data stream. I suspect that continual broadcasters like the NOAA polar orbiters might be somewhat melodic if tweaked properly.
Of COURSE.... I've heard a Meteosat signal, about 15 years ago at school. Sounded like a fax machine (infact, that's basically what it was)
Hmmm. You've got me thinking there Doug.
I will try and get down to the Operations Centre later today....the link operator tells me that you hear a variety of sounds as the antenna tracks and locks onto the signal....Astro0

EDIT: OK, here's a recording coming off the spectrum analyser I took this evening as we were commencing a tracking pass. Sorry, I've had to cover up the frequency being used for this spacecraft. It starts out as white noise, then as the carrier signal comes in you can here the pitch changing. Then some warbling noise as the system locks in. This is just the carrier, the data itself is at a higher rate and off the scale for hearing through the speakers. It'd just be noise anyway I'm told. Interesting all the same. smile.gif
Click to view attachment
My god it's the Clangers!

Thanks for that- always wanted to know smile.gif
In fact there's no sound in space but in the clean room they all sound like... Refrigerators mad.gif
QUOTE (djellison @ Oct 7 2008, 04:30 PM) *
Sounded like a fax machine

Curse my aging RAM; I completely forgot my NOAA days! On a couple of ships, we had a cool gadget called QFAX; it was basically a PCI card for 486s (!) and an omni antenna. Commercial product, they probably still make it in some fashion, cost about US $1500 back in 1994. Anyhow, we'd use it to catch IR imagery from the NOAA polar orbiters for sea surface temperature obs, and you could also listen to the signal; you could actually hear the scan shuttle back & forth as it painted the pic in real time (little clicks & beeps). Also took a NMEA0183 GPS data feed, so you could plot the ship's position on the image.

Great toy, I played with it for hours.
Yeah - we had a small dish at school, and it's box of tricks fed into the - I think it was from one of the older Meteosats ( which they quite cunning use for both taking the observation which gets downlinked to the ground station AND for then relaying the processed results back to users via their dishes ) - images took a while to come down- but it was great to watch.
Then there's this....

Voyager Recordings

Sounds a bit "enhanced" to me smile.gif

Or this:

Music From the Galaxies: Dr. Fiorella Tirenzi

Looks a bit "enhanced" to me. biggrin.gif


What Cassini sounded like during today's Enceladus flyby: Click to view attachment
I don't know if this is available outside of the US, but has the Voyager Symphonies of the Planets for mp3 download for only $5.99!!!!

Symphonies of the Planets

This was out of print for quite a while and I paid a bit more than that when I got the original discs way back when.... sad.gif
Indeed, it's also available via ... but don't forget; spacecraft sound like "refrigerators" smile.gif
Yes, I do expect that there was some creative license involved with the "recordings" - but we are certainly open to data being represented in a pleasing way visually, I see no reason to stop this practice when it comes to sound.

I may draw the line if someone releases a "smell-o-vision" version however. smile.gif
Probably not what Doug had in mind when he started this thread, but jpl has converted the rover accelerometer data into audio files, see the files here. They've been sped up about 1000 times to put them into the audible range.

I've been wondering how identifiable various locations would be in these files. Eg, when Spirit started dragging RF, Spirit dragging RF across HP, Oppy in Purgatory or Victoria, Oppy driving across dunes rather than parallel, etc...

Also I wonder if we could meaningfully synch these files with hazcam movies of the rovers' missions.

One difficulty might be that I assume they did a constant speed-up ratio, so sols with longer drives would take more time on the files. That might make it hard to determine the sol corresponding to a time in the files.
I imagine Purgatory would be pretty evident, at least as well as Spirit's recent perils.
I've just listened to the excerpts and it's certainly a technical marvel to make these, if nothing else!
Wonder what Sojourner would sound like, or MSL for that matter!
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