Monthly Newsletter

October 2002

SORCE Mission Status

LASP Activity –
As the launch date draws near, the activity level in every area is picking up to make sure all issues are addressed and all deadlines are met. Recent milestones include the Mission Operations Rehearsal #1, which started on September 30 and lasted 4 days, finishing up just ahead of schedule. This rehearsal covered launch and spacecraft operations up to the first 48 hours after launch. It went very well, and the rehearsal’s objectives were accomplished.

Rehearsal #2 for Mission Operations is scheduled for November 14–17 and will focus on science operations, making sure that all instrument-related activities are considered and proceed as intended. It will require that all pointing algorithms and calculations be in place. Instrument commissioning will begin approximately 4 days after the launch, and instrument vents and doors will be opened in a carefully formulated sequence beginning 14 days after launch. The sequence of events is based on minimizing any contamination. Instruments will begin making solar observations at this point, although preliminary calibrated data is not expected until about a month after launch. Currently instrument scientists are scrupulously monitoring the instrument test results and analyzing data in preparation for this final rehearsal.

The Operations Readiness Review took place on October 8-9 at LASP, with LASP, NASA, and Orbital personnel in attendance, as well as several outside consultants. This important review covered the status of all SORCE activities

Countdown to Launch - December 1
(as of October 18, 2002)

44 Days

related to the LASP Mission Operations Center’s ability to operate the spacecraft and instruments, as well as collect and process the science data. According to meeting organizers, the review was very useful and it helped to address final issues.

Dr. Juan Fontenla joined the SORCE data processing team to develop Java code for the instruments. Juan has a PhD in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has extensive experience and publications in solar physics. He most recently has been working with private companies in software development. Juan specializes in analyzing and modeling solar UV spectra. Boulder is a familiar place to Juan from when he worked at HAO, where he developed models on the RISE project to compute solar spectra and irradiances for comparison with new measurements.

Marty Snow will be shifting gears within LASP to increase his SORCE role by helping the SOLSTICE team. He will be working with Bill McClintock and Tom Woods analyzing experimental data on the SOLSTICE A and B instruments. Calibration data, especially data from the NIST SURF, have been collected over the last year. These calibration tests allow the instrument team to establish the SOLSTICE sensitivity – the data processing parameter that ultimately determines the level of solar irradiance.

Professional solar physics associations are having their Fall conferences, and are thus providing an opportunity for the SORCE scientists to share the upcoming launch

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