Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antenna Anomaly May Affect SOHO Scientific Data Transmission

Date:
June 25, 2003
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft expects to experience a blackout in the transmission of its scientific data this week. It is estimated the blackout may last two to three weeks.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft expects to experience a blackout in the transmission of its scientific data this week. It is estimated the blackout may last two to three weeks.

Related Articles


Engineers are predicting this problem after detecting a malfunction in the pointing mechanism of the satellite's high-gain antenna (HGA), which is used to transmit the large amounts of data from SOHO's scientific observations to Earth.

The SOHO spacecraft is operating as safely as before the problem occurred. Its low gain antenna, which does not need to be pointed in a specific direction, will be used to control SOHO, monitoring spacecraft and instrument health and safety.

The anomaly in the HGA was recently discovered when engineers detected a discrepancy between the commanded and measured antenna position. In normal conditions, the antenna must be able to move along two axes, vertical and horizontal. The horizontal movement is no longer taking place properly. The problem is probably due to a malfunction in the motor or gear assembly that steers the antenna.

SOHO is located 1.5 million kilometers (one million miles) from Earth. It orbits around the First Lagrangian point, where the combined gravity of the Earth and the sun keep SOHO in an orbit locked to the sun-Earth line. To transmit data, the SOHO HGA must rotate to have Earth in its field of view.

If the problem is not solved, the Earth will be left outside the HGA beam on a periodic basis, with similar blackouts occurring every three months. European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA engineers are assessing several options to recover the situation, or minimize the scientific data loss.

SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA to study the sun, from its deep core to the outer corona, and the solar wind. It was launched in December 1995 on an Atlas IIAS/Centaur rocket. Besides watching the sun, SOHO has become the most prolific discoverer of comets in astronomical history. As of May 2003, more than 620 comets have been found by SOHO.

For information about NASA and Space Science on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Antenna Anomaly May Affect SOHO Scientific Data Transmission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030625090356.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2003, June 25). Antenna Anomaly May Affect SOHO Scientific Data Transmission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030625090356.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Antenna Anomaly May Affect SOHO Scientific Data Transmission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030625090356.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) The Geminids meteor shower lights up the skies over the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

AP (Dec. 13, 2014) A U.S. defense satellite launched from California's central coast on Friday after weather delays caused by a major storm that drenched the state. (Dec. 13) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins