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  1. #1
    Keith Dancey's Avatar
    Keith Dancey Guest

    Default Recent Solar Activity - A Casualty List...

    19 November 2003


    Collected by David Webb from various sources for events arising from recent flares, CMEs, and geomagnetic storms.

    [Forwarded by Joe H. Allen (SCOSTEP) as per telcon with D. Webb]

    Oct. 23: Genesis solar wind satellite at L1 entered safe mode. Normal operations resumed on Nov. 3.

    Oct. 24: Airlines rerouted polar flights due to bad HF/VHF communication.

    Midori-2 Earth-observing satellite failed, probably lost; Safe mode, Power
    dropped, Telemetry lost (23:55).

    Stardust comet mission went into safe mode due to read errors; recovered.

    Chandra X-ray astronomy satellite observations halted due to high radiation levels (09:34 EDT). Restarted Oct. 25.

    GOES-9, 10 and 12 had high bit error rates (9 and 10) and magnetic torquers disabled (12) due to activity.

    Oct. 25: RHESSI solar satellite had spontaneous rest of CPU (10:42).

    Oct. 26: SMART-1 had auto shutdown of engine due to increased
    radiation level in lunar transfer orbit (19:23). (<---local)

    One instrument on Integral satellite went into safe mode because of increased radiation.

    Chandra observations halted again autonomously. Later resumed.

    Oct. 27: NOAA-17 AMSU-A1 lost scanner.
    GOES-8 X-ray Sensor turned itself off and could not be recovered.

    Oct. 28 - 30:
    Astronauts on Intl. Space Station went into service module for radiation protection.

    FAA issued first-ever alert on radiation doses received by airplane passengers above 25K ft. [see also information on 29-30 Sept 1989 proton event that set off on-board warnings on commercial SSTs --- JHA]

    Power system failure in Malmo, Sweden (Oct. 30, 21:07 LT).

    ACE & Wind solar wind satellites lost plasma observations; Electron sensors of GOES satellite in geosynchronous orbit saturated.

    Chandra observations halted again on Oct. 28 autonomously due to radiation. Observations resumed Nov. 1.

    Kodama data relay satellite in geosynch.; Safe mode, signals noisy, Recovery unknown (Oct. 29)

    DMSP F16 SSIES sensor lost data twice, on Oct. 28 and Nov. 3; Recovered.
    Microwave sounder lost oscillator; Switched to redundant system.

    RHESSI satellite had 2 more spontaneous resets of CPU (28, 17:40; 29, 03:32).

    CHIPS satellite computer went offline on Oct. 29 and contact lost with the spacecraft for 18 hr. When contacted the S/C was tumbling; recovered successfully. Offline for a total of 27 hrs.

    CDS instrument on SOHO spacecraft at the L1 point commanded into Safe mode for 3 days ( Oct. 28-30). (<---local)

    Mars Odyssey spacecraft entered Safe mode and MARIE instrument had a temperature red alarm leading it to be powered off (Oct. 28). During downloading on Oct. 29, S/C had a memory error that was corrected with a cold reboot on Oct. 31.

    The twin Mars Explorer Rover spacecraft both entered Sun Idle mode due to excessive star tracker events. Stable and will wait for recovery.

    SIRTF, in orbit drifting behind Earth, turned off science experiments and went to Earth pointing due to high proton fluxes (Oct. 28). 4 days of operations lost.

    X-ray Timing Explorer science satellite Proportional Counter Assembly (PCA) experienced high voltages and the All Sky Monitor autonomously shut off (Oct. 29). On Oct. 30 both instruments recovered, but PCA again shut down. PCA recovery delayed into November.

    Microwave Anisotropy Probe spacecraft star tracker reset and backup tracker autonomously turned on (Oct. 28). Prime tracker recovered.

    Two ultraviolet experiments on GALEX science satellite had excess charge so high voltages turned off. Detectors will remain off until later in Nov.

    Despun platform on Polar satellite went out of lock 3 times but recovered automatically each time.

    Some of the 4 Cluster spacecraft had processor resets but recovered. (<--- local)

    NASA's Earth Sciences Mission Office directed all instruments on 5 spacecraft be turned off or safed due to Level 5 storm prediction (Oct. 29). Satellites affected: AQUA, Landsat, TERRA, TOMS, TRMM.

    Wisconsin & New York: High current levels in transmission lines.

    Changes prohibited to airplane routes N of 57o lat. Some U.S. flights rerouted. British trans-Atlantic routes moved south.

    WAAS service interrupted in CONUS; High latitude GPS receiver outages

    Military communications impacted (HF/UHF SATCOM)/OTH/Classified users

    Loran C station in Newfoundland had interference.

    Nov. 2: Chandra observations halted again autonomously due to radiation. Resumption of observations will be delayed for days.

    Nov. 6: Polar TIDE instrument reset itself and high voltage supplies were disabled; recovered within 24 hr.

    Mars Odyssey spacecraft commanded out of Safe mode; operations nominal.

    Satellite operators: Satellites put into safe modes, solar panels rotated, operations reduced.

    Power grid managers: Less use of and switching between systems.

    Revised: 19 Nov. 2003, D. Webb (additions by JHA after talking to David)

    Late addition:

    and from JPL on the same subject:

    Guy Webster (818) 354-6278
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    News Release: 2003-156 November 26, 2003

    Mars Odyssey Mission Status

    The martian radiation environment experiment on NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey
    orbiter has collected data continuously from the start of the Odyssey
    mapping mission in March 2002 until late last month. The instrument has
    successfully monitored space radiation to evaluate the risks to future
    Mars-bound astronauts. Its measurements are the first of their kind to be
    obtained during an interplanetary cruise and in orbit around another planet.

    On Oct. 28, 2003, during a period of intense solar activity, the instrument
    stopped working properly. Controllers' efforts to restore the instrument to
    normal operations have not been successful. These efforts will continue for
    the next several weeks or months.

    The martian radiation environment experiment detects energetic charged
    particles, including galactic cosmic rays and particles emitted by the Sun
    in coronal mass ejections. The dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays as
    measured by the instrument agrees well with predictions based on modeling.
    Validation of radiation models is a crucial step in predicting
    radiation-related health risks for crews of future missions.

    "Even if the instrument provides no additional data in the future, it has
    been a great success at characterizing the radiation environment that a
    crewed mission to Mars would need to anticipate," said Dr. Jeffrey Plaut,
    project scientist for Mars Odyssey at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
    Pasadena, Calif.

    JPL manages the Mars Odyssey and Global Surveyor missions for NASA's Office
    of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Investigators at Arizona State
    University, Tempe; University of Arizona, Tucson; NASA's Johnson Space
    Center, Houston; the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, Moscow; and Los
    Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M., built and operate Odyssey
    science instruments. Information about NASA's Mars exploration program is
    available on the Internet at: .

    (Since I haven't heard of any deterioration in the state of Mars Express's solar
    panals, I assume they, at least, survived intact.)



    Iraq: 5 thousand million pounds, 50 lives, and counting...

  2. #2
    Fleetie's Avatar
    Fleetie Guest

    Default Recent Solar Activity - A Casualty List...

    Interesting post, thanks.

    Didn't know there'd been so much trouble. All that money, all that work,
    just gone. *Poof!*

    I wonder what measures are taken to radiation-harden the electronics.
    In the light of these recent problems, I wonder if greater effort will
    be made in future.

    Years ago, I seem to remember reading that ICs destined for space are
    manufactured with deliberately large feature sizes compared to state of the
    art, to make them more robust. Not sure if that's true.

    M.A.Poyser Tel.: 07967 110890
    Manchester, U.K.

  3. #3
    Keith Dancey's Avatar
    Keith Dancey Guest

    Default Recent Solar Activity - A Casualty List

    In article, "Fleetie" <> writes:

    Ummmm... I was sitting with people involved with the Cluster 1 mission
    when the Arianne V was destroyed.

    It is certainly the case that more modern space craft use chips with
    decreasing feature size, and therefore become more susceptible to
    radiation damage. To offset this they try to bury the electronics in
    the craft, and shield it with aluminium, but increasing mass is expensive,
    of course.

    Bespoke chipsets with larger feature sizes, and general radiation-hardened
    electronics are sometimes available from the military market, I am lead
    to believe.... Also, memory with error bits and checksums are used
    extensively. Sometimes, majority voting will be employed.

    All such electronics are radiation tested before launch, but in the end,
    you have to take a calculated risk.

    Mars Express received its entire predicted cruise-phase radiation exposure
    in just one of those recent CMEs, I am told.

    And radiation is not the only hazard. Beagle 2 is due to land at the end
    of the dust-storm season. One unseasonal storm and... no power.



    Iraq: 5 thousand million pounds, 50 lives, and counting...



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