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Herschel Status Report - June/July 2012

Herschel Status Report - June/July 2012

Report for period 21 June to 4 July 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 science observations. The efficiency of scheduling Herschel's observations remains high and the average time of executing observations during the past year (19.3 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 29 June 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 85%
  First in-flight Open Time, lower priority 3.7%
GT2  Second in-flight Guaranteed Time 67%
OT2 Second in-flight Open Time, priority 1 32%
  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 successfully performed on 22 June. These routine manoeuvres ensure the Herschel spacecraft maintains its correct orbit about L2.

In the night from Saturday 30 June to Sunday 1 July a leap second was introduced. To accommodate this in operations an additional pass was arranged with ESA's Perth ground station.

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

The fourth bulk reprocessing of all archived Herschel data, which began at the end of April, has completed for the SPIRE and HIFI observations. Processing of PACS archival observations is ongoing, and will be followed by extended processing which combines data from independent observations and instruments. The entire exercise is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Future Milestones

  • Summer 2012: Completion of the fourth bulk reprocessing of all archived Herschel data

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the Herschel Mission Manager's report dated 4 July 2012. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (linked from the home page for terms of use.  

Last Update: 1 September 2019
30-Nov-2023 17:16 UT

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