Author Topic: IMAGE satellite reacquired?  (Read 3929 times)

Online grythumn

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IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« on: 01/25/2018 07:40 PM »
Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has reported acquiring a signal that appears to come from IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) while hunting for ZUMA.

https://twitter.com/coastal8049

SeeSat threads:
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jan-2018/0187.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jan-2018/0192.html

Looks like Richard Burley at NASA is trying to get some DSN time to assess the status of the bird.

-R C
[EDIT: Fix URLs]
« Last Edit: 01/27/2018 01:02 PM by grythumn »

Offline satwatcher

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #1 on: 01/26/2018 08:42 PM »
The NASA IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) has returned from the dead.
https://skyriddles.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/nasas-long-dead-image-satellite-is-alive/

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #2 on: 01/26/2018 10:27 PM »
There's a fairly informative writeup on spaceweather.com as well, featuring some quotes from Patricia Reiff, of the original science team.

IMAGE was thought to be lost after it failed to send telemetry on December 18, 2005.  The FRB concluded that the most likely cause was that a power controller had shut off power to the transponder while still reporting that it was on.  There was hope that a deep eclipse in 2007 would cause a main bus reset and recover the spacecraft.  It didn't happen then, but apparently it did happen some time in the ensuing decade.  IMAGE's highly elliptical polar orbit brings it into eclipse annually, with a deeper eclipse every three years.  Also, ten years in space has probably reduced the battery capacity enough to make main bus resets more likely.

There's a ground station in Berkeley which was used for real-time operations, for which they are now trying to track down decade-old software.

http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=26&month=01&year=2018
https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/publication/document/IMAGE_FRB_Final_Report.pdf

Online speedevil

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/2018 08:18 AM »
There's a fairly informative writeup on spaceweather.com as well, featuring some quotes from Patricia Reiff, of the original science team.

I do wonder if any science information may have been recorded in the gap.
It will be great to see what's working.

Online grythumn

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/2018 04:25 PM »
Update: Engineers at Goddard have independently monitored the transmissions, and they are fairly confident it is IMAGE.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jan-2018/0203.html

-Bob

Offline Norm38

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #5 on: 01/29/2018 03:49 PM »
This just showed up in my Facebook feed.  So the whole Zuma fiasco caused some good!

Offline Oumuamua

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #6 on: 01/29/2018 07:26 PM »
Time has been reserved on the deep space network:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/attempting-to-contact-nasa-s-image

Edit: apparenly the story under the link has been updated since posting: identity of the sat has been confirmed, they need to decode the signal.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2018 08:32 PM by Oumuamua »

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #7 on: 01/30/2018 04:10 AM »
There's a fairly informative writeup on spaceweather.com as well, featuring some quotes from Patricia Reiff, of the original science team.
I do wonder if any science information may have been recorded in the gap.
It will be great to see what's working.
As per the FRB report, IMAGE would have gone into safemode on December 21, 2005, when the 72-hour command loss timer expired, so it would not have been taking science data.

Time has been reserved on the deep space network:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/attempting-to-contact-nasa-s-image

Edit: apparenly the story under the link has been updated since posting: identity of the sat has been confirmed, they need to decode the signal.
The issue here being that nobody kept 10-year-old hardware and software around.  I wonder if it would be easier to track down the original equipment, or to go back to the original spec and reimplement it as a software-defined radio, as was done for the ISEE3 recovery.

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #8 on: 01/31/2018 01:56 PM »
Confirmed!

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/nasa-image-confirmed

Quote
The identity of the satellite re-discovered on Jan. 20, 2018, has been confirmed as NASA’s IMAGE satellite.

On the afternoon of Jan. 30, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, successfully collected telemetry data from the satellite. The signal showed that the space craft ID was 166 —  the ID for IMAGE.

The NASA team has been able to read some basic housekeeping data from the spacecraft, suggesting that at least the main control system is operational.

Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will continue to try to analyze the data from the spacecraft to learn more about the state of the spacecraft. This process will take a week or two to complete as it requires attempting to adapt old software and databases of information to more modern systems.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #9 on: 02/02/2018 05:01 PM »
Quote
Feb. 2, 2018
Latest Data From IMAGE Indicates Spacecraft’s Power Functional
New data regarding IMAGE provides some additional — though not yet complete — information on how the spacecraft began to transmit signals again.

On Thanksgiving Day in 2004, the IMAGE spacecraft — at that time still fully functioning — underwent an unexpected power distribution reboot, after which the power returned only on one side — labeled the B side — of the unit. (Satellites are usually built with redundant hardware, often called “A sides” and “B sides.” In the event one half fails, operators can switch to the other with minimal effect to the mission.) Scientists involved in the mission concluded that the A side had failed, and proceeded for the rest of the mission exclusively with the B side.

However, data from today’s telemetry with IMAGE indicate that the spacecraft’s power unit is now operating back on its A side. The ultimate cause of the reboot is still not known, but these recent findings suggest that a reboot in some form has, in fact, occurred.

By Miles Hatfield
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/nasa-image-confirmed

Online russianhalo117

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #10 on: 02/02/2018 05:24 PM »
NASA’s Newly Rediscovered IMAGE Mission Provided Key Aurora Research
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/nasa-s-newly-rediscovered-image-mission-provided-key-aurora-research

The IMAGE Mission site has been reactivated: https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Real time updates will soon be provided here.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2018 05:43 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #11 on: 02/05/2018 06:18 PM »
Quote
Feb. 5, 2018, Update
Current information from the IMAGE spacecraft shows that the battery is fully charged, and that overall, the satellite itself seems to be in good shape.  The next step is to attempt to turn on the science instruments – but this could take some time as the 12-year-old software to do so must be recreated.  Additionally, as computers have evolved greatly in that time, work is being done to find a machine that can run the instrument commanding software.

During this process of inspecting the spacecraft, there are several puzzles that the team is investigating to better understand the spacecraft’s health and how best to communicate with it, including:

- What caused the spacecraft to reboot and begin sending signal again?
- Why is one side of the on-board electronics working and not the other? We are currently communicating with IMAGE through the original A side of the on-board electronics.  The A side was thought to have failed in 2004, when the communications were switched to the redundant B side.  How and why the A side is now working is something we are looking at.

As we move forward, NASA is starting to recreate a small control center that can generate the commanding needed to better understand and control the satellite.  This will then allow us to gain insights into the state of various science instruments, and see whether any are still functional.  Should any of the instruments be functional, NASA will convene a panel of external scientists to assess the science potential in the context of constrained budgets for operating spacecraft.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/nasa-image-confirmed

Offline eeergo

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #12 on: 02/27/2018 02:08 PM »
Not so hopeful news about IMAGE now:

https://skyriddles.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/space-strikes-back-image-returns-to-silence/

Basically, it's showing an erratic on-off behavior that could be linked to difficulty in maintaining a low enough operating temperature inside the spacecraft, maybe because of its now slower-than-design rotation rate. No signal has been received since Saturday.
-DaviD-

Online speedevil

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #13 on: 04/20/2018 09:39 AM »
Latest updates:

Quote
April 10, 2018, Update

IMAGE’s signal remains too weak to achieve frame lock, which is necessary to retrieve data from the spacecraft. But important steps have been taken this week to be prepared in case of re-established contact.

Last week, the engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, successfully established network connections with both the antennas at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and at the agency’s White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico. These antennae are now prepared to both command and receive telemetry data from IMAGE, if the spacecraft is re-contacted.

These preparations are necessary for the team, led by former IMAGE mission director Richard Burley, to attempt to command IMAGE to switch from its current medium gain antennae to its omnidirectional antennae, which has a weaker signal but a wider footprint. The team hopes to be able to lock onto this broader signal, which would lay the groundwork for reestablishing contact, retrieving data and attempting to restore IMAGE to full working capacity.

And several in-between. It is hypothesised that the MGA is no longer pointed at earth much of the time.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #14 on: 05/09/2018 10:46 AM »
Quote
FLASH!! @NASA's cranky IMAGE satellite is back!!  She started experiencing very minor eclipses for the first time since she faded away in late February and today her signal is back LOUD and clear! Her battery capacity must be very low as the eclipse only lasted about 9 minutes.

https://twitter.com/dutchspace/status/994166018678411264

Quote
Doppler data consistent with IMAGE.

https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/994141874335043585

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #15 on: 05/09/2018 02:27 PM »
Quote
@NASA confirms telemetry lock and they are discussing plan to attempt a command pass. They are ready now to communicate two way with IMAGE and take control as they have got a command station out of mothballs and operational now.

https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/994221344035229696

Offline deruch

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Re: IMAGE satellite reacquired?
« Reply #16 on: 05/10/2018 05:49 AM »
This is the most High Drama satellite mission ever.  I'm loving it.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

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