DS1 validated a small deep-space transponder (SDST), built by Motorola that combines the receiver, command detector, telemetry modulator, exciters, beacon tone generator, and control functions into one 3-kg package. The SDST allows X-band uplink and X-band and Ka-band downlink. To achieve the SDST’s functionality without a new technology development would require over twice the mass and 4 or 5 individual subassemblies.

The SDST generates the tones needed for beacon monitor operations, conceived to reduce the large demand that would be expected on the Deep Space Network if many missions were in flight simultaneously, as envisioned by NASA. The SDST continues to operate as planned.

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