CHIPS Latest News

December 2005 The CHIPS team has been working with several GSFC flight software teams to use CHIPS to demonstrate on-orbit operations of innovative software. On-orbit demonstrations will give project managers the confidence to adopt new software systems in their projects. The Core Flight System was the first project and was successfully demonstrated on-orbit on 2005-12-08.
September 20, 2005 The CHIPS observatory was switched to narrow slits to facilitate our high resolution spectroscopic Sun observations.
July 2005 We have discovered that CHIPS makes a very good solar spectrometer. A campaign of observing the Sun at various observation angles will be undertaken to find an optimum observing angle.
February 13, 2004 The CHIPS observatory was switched from narrow to wide slits. This step will increase the observatory's sensitivity and allow deep imaging of selected areas.
January 9, 2004 Dr. Mark Hurwitz, the CHIPS Principal Investigator, announced today that the CHIPS observatory passed the "minimum science criteria" in December 2003. These criteria correspond to measuring 25 independent spectra with exceptional sensitivity to diffuse extreme ultraviolet emission lines. The criteria were set at a time when the CHIPS spectrograph had 9 diffraction grating channels. Although a subsequent "de-scope" reduced this number to 6, the science criteria were not relaxed. Several publications documenting the CHIPS results are in progress and will be submitted for review shortly.
June 2003 Preliminary science results presented at the Galactic Tertulia in Granada. Updated papers and presentations are on the CHIPS papers page.
April 7, 2003 All telescope slit mechanisms moved to the narrow position. The narrow position increases the spectral resolution of the observatory.
March 23-26, 2003 Preliminary results for CHIPS were presented at the High Energy Astrophysics Division meeting at Mt. Tremblant.
March 18, 2003 Second lunar pointing was successful. This used the lunar sensor input to help increase the accuracy of the spacecraft pointing.
March 17, 2003 The constraints on pointing the spacecraft during eclipse have been loosened. This will allow the mission to more effectively point to high priority targets.
February 16, 2003 First lunar pointing was successful. The Moon was detected by the CHIPS instrument. The Moon was detected by the lunar sensor. The Moon is an important calibration target for CHIPS. It allows the absolute calibration of flux for the on orbit instrument. This first pointing was "open loop" with the spacecraft told to point to the predicted location of the Moon. Later lunar pointings will use the feedback of the lunar sensor to increase the pointing knowledge of the spacecraft.
February 2, 2003 Final instrument telescope slit mechanism (number 5) successfully opened to wide.
February 1, 2003 Initial astrophysical target calibration pointings begin. Preliminary results will take many weeks given the faintness of the CHIPS targets.
January 31, 2003 Slit covers 0, 2, and 3 successfully opened. The final (number 5) slit activation to the wide position is upcoming.
January 30, 2003 Slit cover 4 successfully opened. This was the second of six telescope slit cover activations.
January 28-30, 2003 High voltage activation and checkout. Preliminary results look perfect.
January 27, 2003 Low rate calibration data source enabled on the instrument. Preliminary results look perfect.
January 26, 2003 Detector vacuum box door successfully opened.
January 25, 2003 Instrument thermal control heaters and sensors successfully activated. Automatic thermal control algorithm activated. First (of six) telescope cover slits activated to the wide position. All six slits will be activated to wide before subsequent activation to move them to the nominal narrow position.
January 24, 2003 Science instrument electronics successfully turned on for the first time on orbit. Lunar sensor successfully powered on.
January 22, 2003 First command slewing of the spacecraft accomplished.
January 21, 2003 Attitude Control System (ACS) reaction wheels were activated and their polarity was successfully verified.
January 20, 2003 The spacecraft detumbled successfully and temperature and power are good. More phasing and sensor tests are scheduled before we attempt the first pointing.
January 16, 2003 Next up are detumble and other ACS-related commissioning activities.
January 13, 2003 Observatory commissioning has started.
January 12, 2003 Nominal launch at 16:45 Pacific time into a nominal orbit.

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