FUSE Mission Status Report

Mission Status Report #45      Star Date: April 5, 2001

Riding Out the Storm!

Caption: Mama mia! That's a big one! A tremendous solar flare, imaged in extreme ultraviolet light in March 2001 by the SOHO satellite, during the current solar activity maximum.

Hello World,

All continues to go extremely well on the FUSE project, with the satellite hardware behaving nominally, and ground operations at JHU going smoothly. There has been no reoccurrence of the reaction wheel problem mentioned in a previous Status Report, and operations continue on schedule.

Many of you may have heard about the recent high solar activity levels, including the HUGE SOLAR FLARE in early April. Most reports of these events are accompanied by dire predictions of effects on "radio communications" and "sensitive space electronics", both of which apply to FUSE. And so you may ask, "How is FUSE doing??"

Well, you will be happy to know the answer: "Just fine, thank you very much!"

Space instruments, including FUSE, use electronic components that are "hardened" to be resistent to disruption by radiation and high energy particles. This doesn't mean that problems can't occur, but it should minimize problems. Since launch we have searched for any correlation between solar activity and the instances of "single event upsets" (SEUs) in the FUSE electronics, and have found none. Happily, we have seen no disruptions or obvious degradation in performance of FUSE due to any of the recent solar activity.

So keep your fingers crossed, as will we, and we will hopefully ride out the solar storms with no significant problems!

As a reminder to those interested, we are in the request phase for Cycle 3 guest observations with FUSE. Proposals are due to NASA by May 11, 2001. See the FUSE Guest Investigator page [no longer active] for details.

Reported by: Bill Blair, Chief of Observatory Operations

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