No. 4 - SPC Report February 2004
10 February 2004 09:28
The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is performing nominally. Cassini has entered the Saturn approach science phase and regular distant observations of Saturn have started. A new series of Saturn images was obtained with the Orbiter narrow angle camera in December. Coordinated observations of Saturn's aurorae by the Hubble Space telescope are planned for January/February while Cassini will monitor the solar wind conditions when approaching Saturn in order to shed some light on the Solar Wind/Saturn magnetosphere interaction processes. The preparation activities for the in-flight engineering demonstration of the Probe Relay Sequence, planned on 29 February-4 March 2004, are ongoing.
Revised Huygens mission implementation
The probe system and instrument on-board software patches implementing the pre-heating options were successfully up-loaded on the flight probe on 7 December 2003. A few days later, two in-flight checkout sequences were successfully executed that validated the on-board implementation of the software patches and their compatibility with either the pre-heating or the no pre-heating option.
Delta Flight Acceptance Review (Delta-FAR)
The Huygens Delta-FAR is an Agency-level review with the objective of examining the changes to the mission implemented since the FAR that was conducted 6 months before launch in 1997.
The overall objectives of the review are:
Three panels have been formed according to the three main objectives outlined above. Panel members include experts from both ESTEC and ESOC D/TOS Departments, Project and mission team personnel from D/SCI and other ESA directorates, experts from DLR and CNES as part of the cross-participation to reviews between ESA and National Centers, and Huygens payload experts.
The Review Kick-Off meeting was held on 3 December 2003. The panels will write their reports by end of the first week of February and the final Board Meeting (co-chaired by ESA's Science Director and Inspector General) is planned for 13 February 2004.