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No. 29 - Final Commissioning Phase

No. 29 - Final Commissioning Phase

Report for Period 21 May to 27 May 2006All activities of the second week of the final commissioning phase have been executed asplanned without any major problem.The performance of the space and the ground segment has been nominal with minor problemsnot affecting the mission operations.

The AOCS and Star Trackers SW have been updated with the operational settings for the phase around the planet.

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

MET (Day) Date DOY Main Activity
194 21/05/06 141 Routine Science operations
195 22/05/06 142 Routine Science operations
Gyro drift update
Uplink of STP003/2 commands
196 23/05/06 143 Routine Science operations
STR and AOCS OBSM activities
PFS re-test
ASPERA commissioning test
197 24/05/06 144 Routine Science operations
PFS re-test
198 25/05/06 145 Routine Science operations
199 26/05/06 146 Routine Science operations
Uplink of STP004/1 commands
AOCS OBSM
200 27/05/06 147 Routine Science operations

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 147, 14:00) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 173 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 579 seconds.

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument is regularly operated. Some out of limits and warning events have been recorded and confirmed to be expected by the PI team. The database and the procedures will be updated accordingly. Upon request from the PI team some observations have been modified in order to avoid saturation of the sensor. On DoY 143 a test of a specific acquisition sequence has been executed to allow a refinement of the paramters to be used for the observations.

MAG
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

PFS
The instrument is currently OFF and is not included in the routine planning. A dedicated test has been conducted on DoY 143 where the scanner movement has been commanded 14 times in two slots of 7 attempts each.

SPICAV
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

VeRA
The USO has been un-muted in the night between DoY 142 and 143 to perform the first Bistatic Radar observation. All configuration activities went according to the plan. No surface echoes were seen in real time during the observation. Given the segment of the orbit selected for this test (spacecraft altitudes ranging from 8000 to 20000 km above the surface and incidence angles on the surface near 50 degrees) this was to be expected.

In the experiments scheduled for June the spacecraft will be 10 times closer to the surface; incidence angles of 70 deg should increase the combined reflectivity (total of both polarizations) even though the slant range through the atmosphere will be longer and absorption higher.

VIRTIS
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

VMC
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan. Sun avoidance is routinely checked manually.

Ground Facilities

During the reporting period Venus Express has been successfully supported by daily passes with Cebreros.

Future Milestones

The phasing-in of the routine planning process is proceeding according to the plan. The few anomalies recorded have all been identified in the MPS SW and are being resolved. All the systems are in the configuration that will be used for the routine mission which will officially start on 4 June 2006 at the end of next reporting period with Medium Term Plan 002.

The first routine radio science operation with New Norcia (Gravity pass) will take place in the next reporting period.

The next milestone for the mission is the preparation of the Mission Commissioning Results Review to be held end of June.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-Sep-2021 07:38 UT

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