10 Feb 2004
(Source: European Space Agency)
Huygens Status Report - February 2004
European Space Agency
February 10, 2004
The Cassini/Huygens spacecraft is performing nominally. Cassini has entered the Saturn approach science phase and regular distant observations of Saturn have started. A new series of Saturn images was obtained with the Orbiter narrow angle camera in December. Coordinated observations of Saturn.s aurorae by the Hubble Space telescope are planned for January/February while Cassini will monitor the solar wind conditions when approaching Saturn in order to shed some light on the Solar Wind/Saturn magnetosphere interaction processes. The preparation activities for the in-flight engineering demonstration of the Probe Relay Sequence, planned on 29 February-4 March 2004, are ongoing.
Revised Huygens mission implementation
The probe system and instrument on-board software patches implementing the pre-heating options were successfully up-loaded on the flight probe on 7 December 2003. A few days later, two in-flight checkout sequences were successfully executed that validated the on-board implementation of the software patches and their compatibility with either the pre-heating or the no pre-heating option.
Delta Flight Acceptance Review (Delta-FAR)
The Huygens Delta-FAR is an Agency-level review with the objective of examining the changes to the mission implemented since the FAR that was conducted 6 months before launch in 1997.
The overall objectives of the review are:
?????? Validation of the new mission scenario designed to recover from the radio ?????? receiver design fault
?????? Re-validation of the entry and descent performances
?????? Confirmation of the readiness of flight operations preparation for the ?????? revised Huygens Mission.
Three panels have been formed according to the three main objectives outlined above. Panel members include experts from both ESTEC and ESOC D/TOS Departments, Project and mission team personnel from D/SCI and other ESA directorates, experts from DLR and CNES as part of the cross-participation to reviews between ESA and National Centers, and Huygens payload experts.
The Review Kick-Off meeting was held on 3 December 2003. The panels will write their reports by end of the first week of February and the final Board Meeting (co-chaired by ESA's Science Director and Inspector General) is planned for 13 February 2004.