Saturday, May 18, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Eli, as the bunnies know, has been a fan of DSCVR, aka Triana for like a seriously long time. He even has a decal sitting on his desk.  A little while ago he noted that the mission was being unmothballed (shoved into the closet by the lamented George Bush) to serve as a space weather observatory to replace a failing mission.  The Rabett had heard in a social gathering, that there was work at Goddard on refurbishing the instruments.  Eli wrote to the responsible parties, and got a go away and don't bother us.
Dr, Rabett:

Thanks for your email regarding the status of DSCOVR. At this time, NOAA is not able to  answer your questions, pending the outcome of the ongoing Congressional budget process. Once those issues have been resolved, we'll be in a better position to discussthe way forward on DSCOVR.

Regards, Michael Simpson
DSCOVR Program Manager
But amazingly, funding for DSCVR appeared in the latest Persidential Budget, so Eli wrote again and received a reply
Dr. Rabett,
The NASA Earth Science Division (ESD) will be providing funds to integrate and test the EPIC and NISTAR instruments so that they will fly in a fully functional mode on DSCOVR.  The data that will be returned from the EPIC instrument will be minimally processed to incorporate basic calibration parameters and then archived.  Any additional processing of the data will be part of a ROSES call from ESD.  Due to limited existing ground system resources, the EPIC data rate will be no greater than the equivalent of one RGB image (3 spectral bands) every 4 hours. The data is planned to be publicly available.  If you have more questions please contact Dr. Richard Eckman, the DSCOVR Program Scientist in the ESD.  I am not aware of any plans for an earth observing spacecraft at L2.

Viet Nguyen
Q. Viet Nguyen, PhD
Program Executive
Joint Agency Satellite Division
Not totally wonderful news, but not nothing.  The remark about the data being archived means that there is no funding for data analysis, still it will be available.   EPIC is a ten channel imaging spectroradiometer which can measure ozone, aerosols, clouds and land and ocean surface changes.  NISTAR is a three cavity radiometer to measure reflected solar radiation and energy emitted by the Earth.  Details here.  Eli is going out for some carrot juice.  Don't worry.


Hank Roberts said...

> Due to limited existing ground
> system resources, the EPIC data
> rate will be no greater than ...
> one RGB image ...every 4 hours.

So -- ground system resources is it?
What data rate can the instrument provide, so we know what maximum to hope for? I'd hope for decent time lapse photography rate.

Is it time for a Kickstarter to do the Dishes required?

Surely a passel of interconnected home antennas and a bit of homebrewed ground system resources could get this picture working?

No of course I'm not qualified to do any of this. I can hope.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

DSCOVR is indeed alive and medium well. One thing you have to understand is that the bird was a legacy of the Faster, Cheaper, Better (pick any, so documentation leaves a bit to be desired. There is also the question of the effects of aging on electronic components. It's as much an archaeology problem as it is an electronics problem. Work continues apace, though, and hopefully they can get it up there before the next Rethuglican gets in the White House and directs all the instruments pointed away from Earth so we cannot see what we're doing to the planet.