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No. 8 - End of Near Earth Commissioning Phase

No. 8 - End of Near Earth Commissioning Phase

Report for Period 09 December to 15 December 2005During the reporting period the last activities of the Near Earth Commissioning have beencompleted according to the plan. Two slots with the New Norcia ground station have beendedicated to test the performance of the TTC subsystem and of the Ultra Stable Oscillator(USO) for the radio science experiment (VeRA). In both occasions problems in operating theground station equipment have affected the test.

The ASPERA instrument has been switched on for the first time and commissioned with nominal results. Finally all the instruments, except for PFS, have been operated together for an interference test.

The first DSN tracking pass has been conducted from the Goldstone complex.

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities in the reporting period:

MET (Day)

Date

DOY

Main Activity

31

09/12/05

343

ASPERA NEC Pass 1

32

10/12/05

344

VeRA Tracking Verification Test (NNO)
ASPERA NEC Pass 2

33

11/12/05

345

VeRA USO Commissioning Test (NNO)
ASPERA NEC Pass 3

34

12/12/05

346

ASPERA NEC Pass 4
DSN Goldstone Tracking Pass

35

13/12/05

347

Uplink of Interference Test

36

14/12/05

348

Interference Test

37

15/12/05

349

VIRTIS AR 14 Re-test

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 349, 19:00) Venus Express was at 8.9 million km from the Earth, 140.2 million km from the Sun, and 45.9 million km from Venus. The one-way signal travel time was 29.7 seconds.

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument has been switched ON for the first time on DoY 343. All the tests conducted as part of the NECP have confirmed a nominal behaviour of the instrument including the High Voltage equipment. The instrument will be re-activated few times during the cruise phase for calibration purposes.

MAG
The instrument has been kept permanently ON till the end of the Interference Test. The instrument will be kept OFF during the cruise phase.

PFS
The instrument is currently OFF.

SPICAV
The instrument participated successfully in the interference test. Further alignment tests will be conducted during the mid-cruise payload check-out in January 06.

VeRA
The New Norcia pass of DoY 344 has been dedicated to calibration activities of the TTC subsystem (TRSP2). On DoY 345 the USO has been used for the first time to drive the downlink of X-TX2.

VIRTIS
The instrument participated in the interference test. Further alignment tests will be conducted during the mid-cruise PL check-out in January 06.

VMC
The instrument participated in the interference test. Further alignment tests will be conducted during the mid-cruise PL check-out in January 06.

Future Activities

The NECP is now complete. The batteries will be discharged to 50% of their capacity and will be recharged around mid January for the payload check-out. In the next three weeks only navigation activities will be done (DSN tracking passes, DDOR measurements with ESA and DSN stations), and operations will be resumed mid January 06.

From the 5 to the 13 January 2006 operations will be conducted with the New Norcia station due to unavailability of the Cebreros station.

The next mission operations report will cover the period from 16 December 2005 to 5 January 2006.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
28-Mar-2020 18:32 UT

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