Asset Publisher

Herschel Status Report - November 2012

Herschel Status Report - November 2012

Report for period 27 October to 5 December 2012Mission operations of the Herschel space observatory continued nominally during the reporting period, with the spacecraft and subsystems all performing as expected. The Herschel Post-operations Readiness Review presentations to the Review Board took place on 30 October. The planning for the mission's Post-operations Phase across all Herschel centres passed the scrutiny of the Review Board and the Science Ground Segment was deemed ready to take on the tasks of the Post-operations Phase, which is scheduled to start in July 2013.


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. There have been no single event upsets (SEU) causing loss of science observation time, continuing an extended period of very low SEU incidence in the scientific instruments.

Ground Segment

Ground segment operations have been nominal and 100% of the data continues to be recovered. As of 30 November 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%
OT1p1  First in-flight Open Time, priority 1 98%
GT2  Second in-flight Guaranteed Time 95%
OT2p1 Second in-flight Open Time, priority 1 85%
OT1p2+ OT2p2 First and Second in-flight Open Time, priority 2 8%

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 and Cebreros ground stations. Observational data stored on-board Herschel was received on ground during daily communication passes, each lasting approximately three hours.

Several tests were performed of the communication link to the spacecraft from ESA's new third deep space antenna (DSA 3) at Malargüe in Argentina (20 November) and from the refurbished New Norcia ground station (28 November). All tests were successful, with the few minor issues observed having been followed up and resolved.

The ground segment is operating nominally. Data products are generated routinely and ingested into the Herschel Science Archive (HSA).
A new bulk reprocessing of all the science data in the HSA, using the latest release of the data processing software, was started in November and is progressing well.

Future Milestones

  • 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

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the Herschel Mission Manager's report dated 5 December 2012. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (linked from the home page for terms of use. 

Last Update: 1 September 2019
26-Feb-2024 21:24 UT

ShortUrl Portlet

Shortcut URL

Images And Videos

Related Publications

See Also