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Old 20th Jul 2019, 11:00 am   #1
Valvepower
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Default Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

Hello,

With the current interest in Apollo 11 I located this web site with documentation on the Apollo TV and Communication.

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/alsj-TVDocs.html

Looking at the S-Band specifications, no wonder I wasn't as 9 year old lad able to receive anything using his home brew reflex radio

Terry
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 1:15 pm   #2
Andrew2
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

I've only had a brief look at that, but wow - that's quite a system for the mid-60's! All those subcarriers and the 'two-way lock' for Doppler tracking.
Thanks for the link.
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 11:18 pm   #3
Andy Green
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

Interesting article on the Apollo TV cameras in TV technology magazine https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/50...ote-remembered
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 9:07 am   #4
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

Whilst the value of instant television coverage was immense it's a great pity that a high quality colour film recording of the events wasn't also arranged.

Peter
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 4:35 pm   #5
PaulM
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

Slightly OT - but it is Apollo TV, of sorts - I found this paper on space flight simulators on the NASA site:

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9730011149.pdf

On pages 14-29 there are descriptions of the basic flight simulation technology used in training. This is well before real-time computer IG (Image Generation) and it's a mix of model boards, 1,000+ line TV cameras, flying spot scanners (with scan warping) scanning high-resolution film, mechanical 'star balls' and collimated display optics. It was the best that could be done, but it was very limited. A lot of thought and ingenuity had clearly gone into the techniques and requirements, borrowing from the flight simulation visuals technology of the day (model boards), collimated CRT displays and adapting planetarium star ball technology.

It's a long way from today's flight sim visuals, but it helped sow the seed for later technologies.

Best regards,

Paul M
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 6:14 pm   #6
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

Quote:
it's a great pity that a high quality colour film recording of the events wasn't also arranged.
It was, lots of 16mm film was taken.
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 10:52 pm   #7
peter_scott
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

I must be watching the wrong documentaries.

Peter
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Old 23rd Jul 2019, 1:02 pm   #8
Martin G7MRV
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

If you read deep enough into the spec of the S-band comms system, you find a very sensible but utterly amazing fact -

if all else failed, the crew could key their transmitters using a hand mic PTT switch and communicate in Morse!

It's the little hidden gems of info like that that prove it all happened! Who on earth would think to fake something so esoteric and eccentric! Yet, with the crews being experienced test pilots, such a system makes absolute sense.
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Old 23rd Jul 2019, 3:21 pm   #9
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

So there was a digital element in there after all!
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 11:08 am   #10
Mr Hoover
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

There's an interesting talk with Stan Lebar at the Early Television Foundation
in 2009,it's quite long and difficult to hear at times.The second half of the video has the most information relating to the camera.
https://youtu.be/Hjxi6r6TPr4

He worked for Westinghouse and headed the development team for the camera.
He passed away a few months later.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 9:06 am   #11
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Default Re: Apollo TV and Communications Documentation

The entire voice comms tape for Apollo 13 has been uploaded to youtube in several parts. Quite interesting as it includes both flight controllers communications and capcom/spacecraft loops...busy at times but quite understandable.

A regular feature throughout the tape is a request for Fred Haise to keep manually selecting the fore or aft omnidirectional (low gain) antenna, they had problems with the automatic high-gain (auto steering) antenna after the explosion due to the attitude problems and lack of power for computer control. At several points the spacecraft lost all comms including telemetry of course and the tape has several rather long quiet sections until the radio link was reestablished. A backroom controller was assigned to constantly track which antenna was best placed to maintain comms and to predict the changeover points, issuing a capcom request before the link was lost.
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