No. 70 - First Payload Active Checkout Operations
11 December 2006 10:43Report for Period 1 December to 8 December 2006
The reporting period covers one week of active cruise, which was dedicated to instrument Active Checkout operations.
During the reporting period, the two navigation cameras and all instruments were operated with the exception of MIDAS, MIRO, ROSINA and VIRTIS. In particular, interactive checkout operations were performed with COSIMA, the Lander Philae and OSIRIS. On 6 December, the RPC (Rosetta Plasma Consortium) IES Noisy Channel test, which had failed on 26 November, was successfully repeated. RPC and SREM remain active in the background throughout the campaign. The other instruments are only activated for their checkout sequences.
All checkout operations during the reporting period have been executed smoothly, with the exception of one ALICE command and one failed GIADA command on 4 December, which led to the cancellation of a GIADA observation scheduled on 11 December. The command failures have had no impact on the instrument safety.
In addition, during execution of checkout operations on 1/2 December, telemetry generation by the Lander MUPUS instrument was suddenly and unexpectedly interrupted. Trouble-shooting activities were performed in the following passes. It was decided to leave MUPUS OFF until the nature of the problem is better understood.
A total of 5 New Norcia (NNO) passes of 9 to 12 hours commanding were taken during the reporting period. Two tracking passes of 4 hours have been taken with DSN.
At the end of the reporting period (DOY 342) Rosetta was at 301.1 million km from Earth (2.01 AU; one-way signal travel time was 16 min 5 sec). The distance to the Sun was 168 million km (1.12 AU).
The second PC4 non-interactive block executed outside ground station coverage and involved ALICE, COSIMA, GIADA, OSIRIS, RPC and SREM. The data acquired during this block were retrieved by the ground station on DOY 338. All operations scheduled during this block had executed nominally, with the exception of one ALICE and one GIADA command.
In addition, on DOY 341/342, a SESAME vibration test was carried out, and a SESAME WOL measurement was made.
At the end of the reporting period, the Lander remains ON. The operations are planned to complete late on DOY 342.
The Mars Swingby Phase formally started on 28 July. The actual swingby will take place on 25 February 2007, followed by a Deep Space Manoeuvre in April 2007.
The on-going Payload Active Checkout (PC4) will last four weeks, with the last operations scheduled to be completed on 22 December. The next short-term activities include a thermal characterisation on 27 December, an observation of asteroid Lutetia by OSIRIS between 2 and 4 January 2007, and a test of the pre-eclipse Mars observation attitude on 7 January.