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Herschel Status Report - April 2012

Herschel Status Report - April 2012

Report for period 5 April to 1 May 2012Mission 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.


Operations for all three instruments, PACS, SPIRE and HIFI, have been nominal during the reporting period. Occasional HIFI single event upsets (SEUs) were routinely handled via standard procedures and had no impact on the observations. The efficiency of scheduling Herschel's observations remains high and the average time of executing observations (19.5 hours per day) remains well above the mission baseline of 18.0 hours per day.

Ground Segment

Ground segment operations have been nominal and 100% of the data continues to be recovered. As of 27 April 2012, the approximate completion of the different programme parts was: 

KPGT  Key Programme Guaranteed Time 99%
KPOT  Key Programme Open Time 99%
GT1  First in-flight Guaranteed Time 98%
OT1  First in-flight Open Time, high priority 79%
  First in-flight Open Time, lower priority 3.4%
GT2  Second in-flight Guaranteed Time 48%
OT2 Second in-flight Open Time, priority 1 11%
  Second in-flight Open Time, priority 2 0%

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

Mission Operations
Throughout 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.

A routine station-keeping manoeuvre, or orbit correction manoeuvre, was performed on 27 April. These routine manoeuvres ensure the spacecraft maintains its correct operational orbit about L2.

The ground segment is operating nominally. Data products are generated routinely and ingested into the Herschel Science Archive (HSA). On 27 April the fourth bulk reprocessing of all archived Herschel data was started with the latest version of the data processing software.

Future Milestones

  • 14 May 2012: Third launch anniversary of Herschel

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the Herschel Mission Manager's report dated 1 May 2012. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (linked from the home page for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
25-Feb-2024 18:42 UT

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