How does NASA communicate with spacecraft?
Communications get harder because a signal's strength gets weaker very quickly as distance increases. Mathematically, we say it weakens by the square of the distance from the starting point. That means that if you are twice as far away the signal is only one-fourth as strong. Or if you are three times as far away the signal is only one-ninth as strong. This relationship is known as the inverse-square law of electromagnetic propagation. This is caused by how radio waves behave. They start out close to one another when they are first projected by the antennae, and then spread out as they get farther from their source.
Signal strength isn't the only thing that behaves this way on DS1. Light is made of electromagnetic energy just like radio waves, and so the amount of power collected by the solar panels also drops off greatly as DS1 gets farther from the Sun (its source f power).
What interferes with communications?
How long does it take for transmissions to get between DS1 and Earth?
What kind of data is DS1 sending back?
What new communications features is DS1 using?
What problems are there besides noise?
Why does the data transfer rate have to drop with distance?
How much data is DS1 able to transfer?
Why do solar panels become less useful with distance from the Sun?
What is electromagnetic radiation?
How is data processing managed?