Number 19, March 2002
Contents: 1) FUSE Science Operations have Resumed 2) Target changes for accepted, low Declination, programs 3) Observatory Programs (Supplementary Targets) 4) CalFUSE News 1) FUSE Science Operations have Resumed After the recent downtime due to reaction wheel failures, we are pleased to announce that FUSE is back in business! In late January, new control software was uplinked that enabled three-axis control using two reaction wheels plus magnetic torquer bars. February was spent performing a combination of tests and science observations, and in March we have transitioned back into full time science mode, with occasional tests still needed to enhance our capabilities further. Our primary limitation at the moment is sky coverage, with regions above declination +40 (or below -40) degrees available for normal scheduling during a 60-day precessional cycle. We are hopeful that some capability to observe lower declinations can be developed over the coming months, but development and testing of these techniques will take time. We acknowledge the work of many people at JHU, NASA/GSFC, Orbital Sciences Corp., and Honeywell Technical Services, Inc., who have made the FUSE recovery a reality. It was a real team effort! 2) Target changes for accepted, low Declination, programs The FUSE satellite is back on-line and performing science observations after the recent downtime due to reaction wheel failures. The "new FUSE" maintains the same scientific capabilities as before in terms of sensitivity and spectral resolution. However, there are aspects of operations that have become much more complicated and in some aspects limiting. For all users with unobserved targets awaiting execution, we are requesting a reassessment of their target selection and that they consider modifications that may be in the best interest of both them and the project. Earlier this month, notifications and details of these target changes were distributed by the Project Scientist (George Sonneborn) and the FUSE Chief of Observatory Operations (Bill Blair). The text of these messages can be found at: and respectively. Many observers have already responded, and the submitted target changes are currently being evaluated. We expect to notify the PIs and implement the accepted changes in early April. While the deadline for the first go-around of target changes, including possible target allocation issues, has passed, we would like to emphasize that we will be accepting further target change requests on a continuing, case-by-case basis. There will however be a hiatus on target changes once the cycle 4 NRA is released this summer. 3) Observatory Programs (Supplementary Targets). To help maintain high scheduling efficiency of scientific observations, we have instituted a class of "Observatory Programs". These programs are made up of targets at high declinations that are not currently allocated to any approved program, but which are of scientific interest. The Observatory Programs will be used to fill any gaps in the observing schedule, but only when no regular approved target is available. These targets will have program ID Z9nn. Any data obtained for these programs will have no proprietary period and will be placed in the public archive immediately after processing. To ensure a rapid turn-around, a first set of Observatory Programs have been defined and implemented by the FUSE User Support Group, with the approval by the NASA Project Scientist. These first programs were selected to provide survey data complementing existing programs, or to provide flux measurements of target classes where such data are lacking. This first set of Observatory Programs consists of 6 programs with a total of about 250 objects. The six programs are aimed at: 1) FUSE Observations of stars in the NWU HST snapshot survey, 2) A survey of Algol binaries, 3) A survey of White Dwarfs from the McCook and Sion Sample. 4) A survey of O-B subdwarfs. 5) A complementary sample of LMC (ISM) sightlines 6) A survey of Herbig Ae/Be stars The FUSE web site: contains a list of the programs with some further description, as well as the rules applicable to these programs and targets. We are finalizing a page on the JHU web site on which we will keep an updated list of the targets observed under these programs. As these observations are released immediately upon satisfactory processing and quality control, we note that you can also keep abreast of these observations by regularly searching the MAST archives for program IDs Z9**. A number of suggestions for further Observatory Programs have already been received from the community. The originators of these programs should expect a letter from the NASA Project Scientist in the near future finalizing the constraints, requirements and agreements for possible selection. Suggestions for additional Observatory Programs are still being solicited. Suggestions of programs or targets to be added to this list should be sent to email@example.com. 4) CalFUSE News We expect to release v2.1 of CalFUSE, the FUSE calibration pipeline, in early April. This version of the code features improved background calibration files and a new module that stretches the bad-pixel map to account for time-dependent changes in the Y scale of the detector. A number of bug fixes (most are minor) developed over the past few months are also included. For details, please see "Introduction to CalFUSE v2.1" at In the near future, we will begin processing all new FUSE data with CalFUSE v2.1. Once that is working, we will re-process the entire FUSE data set with the new pipeline. We expect to upgrade the entire FUSE archive at MAST with data processed with CalFUSE v2.1 by the end of the year.
The Observer's Electronic Newsletter is published by the FUSE project and is aimed at the FUSE user community. Editor: B-G Andersson, FUSE Guest Investigator Officer. The FUSE Project is managed by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Astrophysical Sciences in Baltimore, MD, for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The FUSE Principal Investigator is Dr. Warren Moos, the FUSE Project Manager at JHU is Mr. J.B. Joyce, and the NASA Project Scientist for FUSE is Dr. George Sonneborn. Further information about the FUSE Guest Investigator Program can be obtained from: Dr. George Sonneborn; firstname.lastname@example.org
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