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Herschel Status Report - September 2011

Herschel Status Report - September 2011

Report for period 25 August to 22 September 2011Mission operations of the Herschel space observatory continued nominally during the reporting period, with the spacecraft and subsystems all performing as expected.


The spacecraft continues to be in good health and is operating nominally.

As planned, the second part of the star tracker (STR) focal plane correction was implemented on 18 September and followed by a one-day pointing campaign. The first part had been implemented already earlier and was a correction for the STR focal length (see the previous status report, linked from the right-hand menu). The second part has now corrected for CCD tilt in the STR focal plane.

While the pointing performance of the Herschel observatory has always been well within specification, the first correction resulted in an improvement of the Absolute Pointing Error (APE) from just over 2" to less than 1.5". Preliminary results after the completion of the second correction indicate that the APE has now further improved to below 1", corresponding to less than one-hundredth of the size of a CCD pixel.


Operations for all three instruments, PACS, SPIRE and HIFI, have been nominal during the reporting period.

Ground Segment

Ground segment operations have been nominal and 100% of the data continues to be recovered. As of 16 September 2011, the approximate completion of the different programme parts was:

KPGT  Key Programme Guaranteed Time 93%
KPOT  Key Programme Open Time 94%
GT1  First in-flight Guaranteed Time 90%
OT1  First in-flight Open Time, high priority 15%
  First in-flight Open Time, lower priority 2%
GT2 Second in-flight Guaranteed Time 0.8%

For more details of these different programme parts, see the "overview of Herschel observing" linked from the right-hand menu.

The second, and final, in-flight Announcement of Opportunity (AO2) process is completed. Like the previous AOs there were two parts to this AO: a Call for Guaranteed Time Programmes (GT2) and a Call for Open Time Programmes (OT2).

The first part, the GT2 AO, was issued on 7 April and closed on 12 May 2011. A total of 32 Guaranteed Time Programmes were proposed and accepted.

The second part, the OT2 AO, was issued on 9 June, and closed during this reporting period, on 15 September 2011. After the conclusion of the evaluation process the approved proposals for the OT2 programmes will be announced in late November 2011. There will be no further AOs for Herschel observing time.

Mission Operations
During the reporting period, mission operations have been conducted with the support of ESA's New Norcia ground station. Observational data stored on-board Herschel was received on ground during daily communication passes, each lasting approximately three hours.

The ground segment is operating nominally. Data products are generated routinely and ingested into the Herschel Science Archive (HSA).

Future Milestones

  • Late November 2011: Announcement of approved OT2 proposals.

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the Herschel mission manager's report dated 22 September 2011. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (linked from the home page for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
17-Jul-2024 15:25 UT

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