Saturday, June 13, 2015

GORESat @ L1

DSCVR has made it out to L1 and is parked.  Long lost in George Bush's back pocket out of envy, the satellite was unpacked and launched because it had space weather monitoring capabilities, and the satellite being used for that purpose was going bad.  As Eli has noted this was a good thing for many reasons.

Of course NOAA downplays the Earth monitoring capability, but it is there

DSCOVR will eventually replace NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) research satellite as America’s primary warning system for solar magnetic storms headed towards Earth. ACE will continue to provide valuable research data to the science community. <

In addition to space weather-monitoring instruments, DSCOVR is carrying two NASA Earth-observing instruments that will gather a range of measurements from ozone and aerosol amounts, to changes in Earth's radiation budget—the balance between incoming radiation (largely from the sun) and that which is reflected from Earth. This balance affects our climate.

DSCOVR has reached its final orbit and will soon be ready to begin its mission of space weather monitoring for NOAA and Earth observing for NASA," said Al Vernacchio, DSCOVR project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
However, NOAA is stuck with the name:  Deep Space Climate Observatory

5 comments:

Harry Twinotter said...

Better late than never!

The L1 point is a longgggg way out (1.5 million kilometres) but the beauty of this is the spacecraft is able to measure most of the visible disk of the earth in one sample. I am looking forward to seeing the new data.

There was talk about putting the "blue marble" view of the earth online in real time, have not heard anything about this one from NOAA.

Hank Roberts said...

They're not going to give us the "blue marble" live video, dammit.
Not clear if they physically disabled that function or just lowered the priority of sending high quality images below the threshold of doing.

Maybe the Air Force gets that as an option, with a zoom feature, I guess we won't know what they're able to do with the platform; they own it.

We are promised a day late much-delayed picture, the occasional snapshot image. They should appear at http://dscovr.space/ (fan site with links to the official sites)

Watch the skies, they're watching you.

Harry Twinotter said...

No "blue marble" - that is a shame.

They are correct, downlink capacity is a limited resource (a network of ground stations across the globe is required and there is a large fleet of spacecraft to service now).

So it is a matter of their operational priorities.

Hank Roberts said...

Well, perhaps with a hat tip to those who've proved to the satisfaction of big gummints that nuclear winter was an exaggeration, we have Russian tanks threatening Europe now and more bang-waving from their ICBM development department.

I suppose GoreSat could be quite busy just watching for the Air Force.

Two quotes I recall from the past: a NORAD watchkeeper on the phone to National Public Radio, saying they don't target cities, they target time zones.

And "in Germany, the cities are only a megaton apart."

I hope there's some permanent picture storage on DSCOVR, for the record, in case anybody comes looking and wonders what happened.

Hank Roberts said...

I misplaced a posting about the current 2015 AGU meeting's mentions of DSCOVR -- a science session Monday 12/14 and a Town Hall on Wednesday 12/16.

Some guy :-) asked the right question Monday -- about placing another instrument on the midnight side, so we can get a radiation balance.

Stewart Brand on Wednesday made the same point, with slides, also pointing out that would give us nighttime cloud behavior and a view of the Earth lit by lightning, fire, electricity, and moonlight, and other points worth attention.

I hope for more here once everyone gets back from the AGU.