Cassini Significant Event Report
For Week Ending 12/08/00
The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Madrid tracking
station on Wednesday, December 6th. The Cassini spacecraft is in an
excellent state of health and is operating normally. The speed of the spacecraft can be viewed on the "Where is Cassini Now?" web page.
Activities this week included the completion of the fourth and final instance
of the Phase B 5-Day repeating template, and start of the Phase C partial
template for Jupiter observations. Template activities include the Imaging
Science Subsystem (ISS) 2x2 movie, Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS)
North/South scans, ISS 1x4 Satellite Search, Cassini Plasma Spectrometer
(CAPS) orientation to place -X axis to sun and rotate, and Radio and
Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) calibration.
MIMI, RPWS, Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and ISS
instrument teams each provided a brief status report at the weekly Status
and Scope meeting. The MIMI data for Jupiter is looking very nice. The
INCA sensor is seeing Jupiter in energetic neutral atoms (ENA) at about
the source strength predicted by Voyager. In the latest images, Jupiter
can be seen without long time integrations. LEMMS is monitoring both
solar and Jovian energetic particle fluxes, and CHEMS is primarily looking
at solar wind pickup ions.
RPWS has now successfully carried out all scheduled calibrations occurring
in Cruise 23 and the data look good from all of them. The calibrations
have been designed to sweep the RPWS +X and -X antennas through the
direction to Jupiter where a sharp null in the received signal will occur.
VIMS continues to work normally. Atmospheric studies are looking at
methane bands and H3+ emissions from the Polar Regions. Spectra of at
least two satellites have also been recorded. VIMS team scientists are
pleased with the data.
Instrument Operations (IO) and the Multi Mission Image Processing
Laboratory (MIPL) produced and delivered 2,102 ISS images and 29 VIMS
cubes last week bringing the totals since the start of Jupiter activities
up to 11,132 images and 83 cubes. ISS has prepared a set of sequences to
run in the Integration Test Laboratory (ITL) next week. These are to test
certain operations strategies and in-flight performance.
A Magnetosphere and Plasma Science (MAPS) Working Group meeting was held
at the University of Michigan this week. The purpose of this meeting was
to integrate the fields and particles instrument observational desires for
the whole tour. Significant progress was made in understanding the
requirements for the magnetosphere survey and the observational campaigns
needed to determine the magnetospheric processes.
The Attitude Control Team presented a feasibility study on active tracking
of the Huygens probe during its descent into Titan's atmosphere. Both
Huygens and Cassini personnel participated. The initial assessment was
favorable. Further studies and analysis are underway.
ULO personnel have finalized the selection of modules to be included in
the January delivery of MSS D7.4. Final testing in ITL for these modules
is scheduled for mid December.
System Engineering (SE) coordinated a briefing by the Mission Support &
Services Office (MSSO) to project members to better understand the rules
and procedures needed for Cassini software distribution. Specifically,
Science Opportunity Analyzer (SOA) is about to be delivered and needs to
be provided to various Distributed Operations sites.
Cassini ACEs hosted two observers this week. Both individuals sat with an
ACE for at least 4 hours and were briefed on the various real-time ACE
tasks and functions.
Additional information about Cassini-Huygens is online at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Cassini will begin orbiting Saturn on July 1, 2004, and release its piggybacked Huygens probe about six months later for descent through the thick atmosphere of the moon Titan. Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.