Monthly Newsletter

June 2002



that the spacecraft can survive in the mission environment. Tests include Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI/EMC) measurement, mass properties, pyro-shock separation system, vibration, acoustics, and thermal vacuum. The testing requires that the spacecraft bus and the instrument module be moved, and mated and demated several times during various phases of testing.


The SORCE Spacecraft with
the Solar Arrays deployed.

In early June, the first of the testing began with the EMI/EMC test. This involves making sure that all systems on the spacecraft are electronically compatible, especially in the context of ensuring that the instruments are collecting valid data in all situations. Instrument scientists and engineers are involved in this process to make sure the data collected from each instrument is credible under the circumstances and that the collective system is not susceptible to EM radiation at a wide range of frequencies. These critical tests were successful and the final results well within acceptable limits.

Following the EMI/EMC test, the IM Microprocessor Flight Software was upgraded and the APE (Attitude Power Electronics) change-out occurred. This change replaced an engineering development unit with the APE-B unit, which had successfully passed thorough unit-level testing following rework on its low-voltage power supply. In parallel to the APE-B change-out, both CEU (Central Electronics Unit) boxes were removed for minor rework to their downlink cards. Both of the APEs and CEUs currently installed are the flight units. These APE and CEU change

outs required that the instrument module be separated from the bus.

Vibration tests are scheduled for late June and early July, followed by the acoustic test, where the spacecraft will be exposed to an extreme acoustical environment provided by a producer of rock concerts - seems this environment is very similar to the actual launch. In July the LASP and Orbital team members will be doing the Solar Array Testing/Alignment Verification. Lastly, the solar arrays will be removed and the Thermal Vacuum Testing will begin. The spacecraft will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center in October for final launch preparation.

LASP Activity -
The last SORCE monthly review was held on May 21. As the launch date nears, final integration and testing events and schedules are becoming increasingly critical. The mission is currently on schedule and within budget. Many issues were discussed and action plans put into place to monitor current procedures and resolve outstanding items. The next monthly review is scheduled for June 27 at LASP.

Formal training of the Flight Operations Team has begun with a wide range of experts from LASP and Orbital sharing their knowledge. SORCE specific topics include mission and spacecraft overviews, ADCS, C&DH, flight software, power, thermal, RF&COM, fault detection and correction, as well as instruments. Several new hires, both professionals and students, have been added to the Flight Operations Team to assist in the development and testing of the mission operations system. In addition to the SORCE specific training, the new team members will receive 12 weeks of classroom training in the basics of spacecraft design and mission operations.

The SORCE brochure is progressing. Teaming with NASA writers and graphics personnel, LASP is contributing text and images to create an impressive informative piece. There will be a rough draft available at the July SORCE Science Working Group Meeting. The complete SORCE public relations package will also include a prelaunch video that will go out to the news media before the launch and will be used as a resource when needed following the launch. NASA television producers are coordinating this project with LASP's input. Closer to launch, there will also be video taped interviews with SORCE scientists and NASA Program Directors. There are also plans for an educational SORCE interactive CD-ROM.

Chris Pankratz is leading a team of people who are focusing on the new SORCE Web page. It will start having a fresh new look soon, offering more detailed information on the mission, the SORCE instruments, and the science. Following the launch, the scientific data collected will be a prominent feature on the site. The web page will also meet the needs of the non-technical curious person, and public educators teaching at many levels.

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