The documents listed below cover a broad range of subjects, and may be useful to both designers of new missions as well as current DSN mission customers.

DSN Services Catalog 820-100-H (PDF, 1.9 MB).

In addition to DSN Earth station characteristics, this document contains detailed descriptions of the individual services corresponding to the Service Categories found in Table 1-1 of NASA's Mission Operations and Communications Services document. Performance characteristics of the services (quality, quantity, continuity, and latency) are discussed. It is highly recommended that persons planning to use DSN services consult this catalog.

DSN Telecommunications Link Design Handbook 810-005

Frequently referred to as "810-005," this document provides technical design information about DSN stations and their telecommunications interfaces with flight projects. Proposers planning to utilize DSN stations should refer to the DSN parameter values contained in the several 810-5 modules when designing the spacecraft telecommunications systems.

DSN Mission Interface Design Handbook 810-007

This modular handbook has been approved by the Deep Space Network (DSN) Project Office and is provided as a source of technical information for all flight projects using the DSN. It provides information on DSN service capabilities, tools that can be used by customers to operate their own mission operations, engineering support services, and customer requirements to use the DSN services, to aid flight projects in understanding and designing for compatibility.

DSN Mission Service Interfaces, Policies and Practices (MSIPP) 875-0001 (PDF, 1.1 MB)

The purpose of this document is to establish basic policies and practices that are applicable to mission customers of the DSN, and to describe key DSN-Mission operations interfaces.


DSN system designs are based upon internationally adopted standards. Use of standards promulgated by the organizations named below is required for interoperability with networks of other space agencies.

Accordingly, users of DSN facilities are requested to comply with all standards applicable to their mission published by the organizations below.

Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS)

The CCSDS Document Library contains recommendations published by CCSDS for spacecraft and Earth station data systems. Recommendations are documents providing detailed technical guidance to space agencies regarding the design of their space data handling systems. In addition to data formats, these Recommendations specify characteristics and capabilities of the physical transport layer. DSN users should comply with all relevant CCSDS Recommendations.


The Space Frequency Coordination Group (SFCG) has reached agreement among its members that space science missions utilizing the Space Research service and operating in the 2 and 8 GHz frequency bands should employ bandwidth efficient modulation (see SFCG Handbook). The following Portable Document Format (PDF) reports summarize studies leading to the adoption of these agreements.

Frequency Management Entities

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunications Union's (ITU's) Radio Regulations contain the internationally agreed rules for use of the radio frequency spectrum. Most missions supported by DSN stations radiate signals across international boundaries. DSN customers should design their radio systems to fully comply with the provisions of this document.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

The National Telecommunication and Information Administration's (NTIA's) Manual of Regulations & Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management governs radio frequency spectrum use in the United States by Government users. This document applies and DSN customers should be in full compliance. To obtain frequency authorization from the NTIA and to ensure protection from harmful interference, mission designers are encouraged to contact the Spectrum Management Office to begin the spectrum certification process as soon as possible, preferably before the mission's MCR.

Space Frequency Coordination Group (SFCG)

Space Frequency Coordination Group (SFCG) membership comprises some thirty civilian space agencies plus several observer organizations. Periodic meetings are held to discuss and adopt standards for use of the Space Science frequency bands. Recommendations are contained in the Handbook of the Space Frequency Coordination Group. Prospective DSN customers should ensure that their spacecraft telecommunications systems comply with SFCG Recommendations.