Cassini Science Instrument Anomalies

Jan. 09, 2013

Telemetry showed that the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) was powered off Saturday, June 4, 2012, when the instrument began to draw excess current, which tripped off the solid state power switch that provides electrical power to the instrument. The Realtime Operations Team notified the CAPS instrument team, the Spacecraft Operations team, and the Sequence Implementation Process lead, and an anomaly meeting was arranged for the following morning. More information

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, the Spacecraft Operations team sent a command to power off the Ultra Stable Oscillator (USO). This frequency reference unit appeared to fail in December 2011; subsequent tests verified in July 2012 that it had suffered a hard failure. Turning it off saves about three watts of electrical power.