Herschel Status Report - March 2010
25 Mar 2010 10:57
Report for period 19 February to 21 March 2010
Mission operations of the Herschel space observatory continued nominally during the reporting period, with the spacecraft and subsystems all performing as expected.
The "Herschel Observatory Routine Science Phase Readiness Review", conducted this month and fed by the SPIRE and PACS instrument and Instrument Control Centre (ICC) reviews, concluded that the observatory is ready for Routine Science Phase operations with these two instruments.
The spacecraft is operating nominally.
Star tracker warm pixels
To more fully characterise the star tracker behaviour at the new CCD temperature settings, for the time being full CCD dumps continue to be produced every two weeks. These are used to determine what effect, if any, the new temperature regime has on the clustering and dynamics of "warm" pixels. In parallel, procedures are being prepared to regularly update the star tracker "bad pixel table" based on the findings of the bi-weekly CCD dumps.
Both PACS and SPIRE continue to operate nominally.
The Performance Verification Phase for the HIFI instrument was successfully concluded. As of 21 March, HIFI has also completed 60% of its Science Demonstration Phase and 40% of its Priority Science Programme (about 450 hours of observations extracted from the Key Programmes that have been assigned highest scientific priority).
Using improved pipeline generation software, all data obtained from standard observations so far are currently undergoing bulk reprocessing to update the HSA with the best available science products that can be generated in an automated way at this time.
The HSA, populated with a number of Science Demonstration Phase observations, has been opened to the public. For a short period there was a noticeable increase in the number of external users of the archive and in the number of scientific products that were downloaded.