Monthly Newsletter

September 2002

SORCE Mission Status

LASP Activity -
With the launch date rapidly approaching, the SOC (Science Operations Center) personnel are making significant progress on science data systems for each SORCE instrument. Since the instruments shipped to Orbital last spring, both science and housekeeping telemetry have been accessed regularly by scientists and engineers for use in reviewing instrument performance and health. Currently they are scrupulously monitoring the instrument test results and analyzing data.

The current status of individual instrument process algorithm is as follows: SOLSTICE algorithms are complete, and software is now being debugged and tested with all components in place. Data are being validated against UARS SOLSTICE data. The theoretical definition of TIM and SIM algorithms has advanced to allow software design and implementation in preparation for the SORCE launch. XPS will utilize the exact same TIMED software with the assistance of a small adapter module.

Tom Woods, XPS scientists, reviews the incoming data from SORCE.

The big push is to be prepared for the Mission Operations Rehearsal # 1 scheduled for 4 days, beginning September 30. This rehearsal will require that all early orbit sun-pointing (no stellar observations) algorithms and calculations be in place. This rehearsal covers launch and spacecraft operations up to the first 48 hours after launch. No science operations will be addressed during this rehearsal.

Countdown to Launch - December 1
(as of September 23, 2002)


A second rehearsal scheduled for mid November will require that all pointing algorithms and calculations be in place.

During real-time spacecraft contacts, LASP maintains direct communication with the spacecraft via ground stations sending commands, and receiving and checking real-time telemetry. LASP will communicate with SORCE via ground stations in Santiago, Chile and Wallops Island, Virginia twice daily during normal operations. The Mission Operations and Ground Station plans are coming together with a focus on ensuring ground station readiness for SORCE launch.

Dr. Byron Smiley joined LASP in August to work on the SORCE program. Byron is filling a post-doctoral position and will initially work on the SIM data processing. While a physics graduate student at CU, he worked with magnetically shielded charged dust detectors on five sounding rockets. Stop by his office (LSTB 215) to introduce yourself and welcome him to LASP.

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