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CloudSat anomaly recovery and operational lessons learned

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dc.contributor.author Witkowski, Mona
dc.contributor.author Vane, Deborah
dc.contributor.author Livermore, Thomas
dc.contributor.author Rokey, Mark
dc.contributor.author Barthuli, Marda
dc.contributor.author Gravseth, Ian J.
dc.contributor.author Pieper, Brian
dc.contributor.author Rodzinak, Aaron
dc.contributor.author Silva, Steve
dc.contributor.author Woznick, Paul
dc.date.accessioned 2013-01-14T22:47:46Z
dc.date.available 2013-01-14T22:47:46Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-11
dc.identifier.citation SpaceOps 2012, Stockholm, Sweden, June 11-15, 2012 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 12-2028
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/42600
dc.description.abstract In April 2011, NASA’s pioneering cloud profiling radar satellite, CloudSat, experienced a battery anomaly that placed it into emergency mode and rendered it operations incapable. All initial attempts to recover the spacecraft failed as the resultant power limitations could not support even the lowest power mode. Originally part of a six-satellite constellation known as the “A-Train”, CloudSat was unable to stay within its assigned control box, posing a threat to other A-Train satellites. CloudSat needed to exit the constellation, but with the tenuous power profile, conducting maneuvers was very risky. The team was able to execute a complex sequence of operations which recovered control, conducted an orbit lower maneuver, and returned the satellite to safe mode, within one 65 minute sunlit period. During the course of the anomaly recovery, the team developed several bold, innovative operational strategies. Details of the investigation into the root-cause and the multiple approaches to revive CloudSat are examined. Satellite communication and commanding during the anomaly are presented. A radical new system of “Daylight Only Operations” (DO-OP) was developed, which cycles the payload and subsystem components off in tune with earth eclipse entry and exit in order to maintain positive power and thermal profiles. The scientific methodology and operational results behind the graduated testing and ramp-up to DO-OP are analyzed. In November 2011, the CloudSat team successfully restored the vehicle to consistent operational collection of cloud radar data during sunlit portions of the orbit. Lessons learned throughout the six-month return-to-operations recovery effort are discussed and offered for application to other R&D satellites, in the context of on-orbit anomaly resolution efforts. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012. en_US
dc.subject CloudSat Mission en_US
dc.subject cloud profiling radar satellite en_US
dc.subject Daylight Only Operations (DO-OP) en_US
dc.title CloudSat anomaly recovery and operational lessons learned en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US


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