Herschel Status Report - October 2012
The spacecraft continues to be in good health and is operating nominally.
Regular maintenance of the STR-A star tracker was conducted, which was followed by an update of the STR-A defective pixel table.
Operations for all three instruments, PACS, SPIRE and HIFI, have been nominal during the reporting period. One single event upset (SEU) required a power cycling of the HIFI Local Oscillator Control Unit, but this had no impact on the science observations.
Ground segment operations have been nominal and 100% of the data continues to be recovered. As of 19 October 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||:||>99%|
|OT1||First in-flight Open Time, high priority||:||97%|
|First in-flight Open Time, lower priority||:||5.4%|
|GT2||Second in-flight Guaranteed Time||:||93%|
|OT2||Second in-flight Open Time, priority 1||:||72%|
|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.
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 12 October. These routine manoeuvres ensure the Herschel spacecraft maintains its correct orbit about L2.
The ground segment is operating nominally. Data products are generated routinely and ingested into the Herschel Science Archive (HSA).
The HIPE Forum, the annual gathering of the Herschel distributed developer community responsible for the upkeep of the ground system and data processing software, took place at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), on 9 to 11 October. The meeting was very successful, also reflecting upon the planned Post-Operations Phase activities.
- 30 October 2012: Post-Operations Readiness Review kick-off meeting
- February/March 2013: Predicted end of operational lifetime for scientific observations (exhaustion of the liquid helium for the spacecraft's active cooling system)
- 1 July 2013: Start of Post-Operations Phase