Monthly Newsletter

June 2001

Conferences attended by SORCE scientists during June 2001 were:
  • Greg Kopp: Joint AGU Meeting and AAS Solar Physics Division Meeting, May -June 2001 Boston, Massachusetts (posters presented)
  • Greg Kopp, George Lawrence, Chris Pankratz, Tom Woods: International Solar Cycle Studies 2001-Solar Variability, Climate and Spaceweather June 2001 Longmont, Colorado (papers and posters presented)
  • Tom Woods: Third Thermospheric/Ionospheric Geospheric Research (Tiger) Symposium, June 12, 2001 LASP, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (co-chair)
  • Gary Rottman: Workshop on the Evolving Sun and Its Influence on Planetary Environments June 2001 Granada, Spain (papers and posters presented)
SORCE Science Team Meeting July 9, 10, 11, 2001 at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado has been postponed.

HESSI Launch, initially scheduled for June 7, Kennedy Space Center, was postponed indefinitely. SORCE plans to attend the rescheduled HESSI launch to learn and prepare for the future SORCE launch.

The SORCE Fairing Fit Check, originally scheduled for June 18, Chandler, Arizona has been rescheduled for July 10-11, 2001.

FOG ACS Review, June 28, Orbital, Dulles, Virginia

SORCE scientists plan to present papers or attend the following 2001 meetings:
  • IAGA Session on Solar Variability August 2001 Hanoi, Vietnam
    Calcon 2001 September 2001 Logan, Utah
  • NewRAD October 22-25, 2001 Gaithersburg, Maryland.
  • A SORCE Calibration Workshop will be held immediately following the NewRAD conference on October 26, 2001 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Please contact Greg Kopp,, phone: 303-735-0934 for information.
SORCE May 2001 Project Summary
The SORCE Program is on schedule and within budget. Launch is scheduled for July 31, 2002. Some scheduling slack is low and contingency funding as well, but both factors require careful monitoring. No descopes are required at this time, but removal of the IFOG "gyros" ACS component from the SORCE spacecraft is still under consideration. A review will be held June 28, 2001 at Orbital to evaluate the potential descope. The descope of the IFOG ACS components from the SORCE spacecraft may reduce mission risk.

The top nine concerns facing the SORCE program are defined below.
1. Spacecraft transceiver: Some time has been recovered in the late delivery of the spacecraft transceiver from Alenia, (an Italian company), as some essential export clearances and transceiver parts have been obtained earlier than promised. Despite these promising events, the transceiver will still be delivered 2 months late.

2. Instrument Integration. The instrument integration schedule has been reworked and workarounds employed to allow instrument integration to continue despite the lack of some key components to the build process. The spacecraft bench was received in May and installed on the Flotron in the LASP clean room. Instruments previously integrated on a flat temporary harness will soon be transferred to the SORCE spacecraft bench.

3. The XPS FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) issue has not yet been resolved. A total replacement of the FPGA may be required, and schedules are under development to meet this situation if needed. The cause of the FPGA failure may have been excessive voltage. Earlier speculation regarding the FPGA failure focused on faulty manufacture.

4. SIM slack is still very tight. Progress has been excellent, and daily monitoring of SIM status has allowed for quick scheduling response to the changing needs of the SIM build. The additional personnel and much overtime are helping to resolve the time situation on SIM. Extra efforts continue.

5. SORCE budget contingency has been used to maintain schedule and cover unforeseen electronics costs. GSFC and Bill Ochs, SORCE NASA Mission Manager, are helping to provide needed funds to the SORCE program. Cost estimates and schedules are being revised. Program descope evaluations are underway.

6. Test facilities are crowded. Additional facilities at Ball Aerospace have been rented, test schedules are constantly reworked, and additional bench test equipment has been purchased to remedy the situation. The Moby vacuum chamber in the LASP cleanroom has been upgraded and enlarged in response to this situation.

7. ACS IFOG descope evaluations are underway, as mentioned earlier in the newsletter. The removal of the IFOG from the SORCE spacecraft may help to reduce overall mission risk.

8. A potential launch conflict may develop between ICESat and SORCE launch dates. If the ICESat launch is delayed to within 4 months of the SORCE launch, LASP mission operations may be adversely affected. To alleviate potential staffing problems, additional LASP mission operations personnel are in training, and additional funds are being sought to upgrade and supplement current LASP Mission Operations equipment.

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