Autonomy for SOHO Ground Operations

Walt Truszkowski, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; Nick Netreba and Don Ginn, a.i. solutions, Inc., USA; Sanda Mandutianu, Jet Proplusion Laboratory, USA

The SOLAR and HELIOSPHERIC OBSERVATORY (SOHO) project [SOHO Web Page] is being carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a cooperative effort between the two agencies in the framework of the Solar Terrestrial Science Program (STSP) comprising SOHO and other missions. SOHO was launched on December 2, 1995. The SOHO spacecraft was built in Europe by an industry team led by Matra, and instruments were provided by European and American scientists. There are nine European Principal Investigators (PI’s) and three American ones. Large engineering teams and more than 200 co-investigators from many institutions support the PI’s in the development of the instruments and in the preparation of their operations and data analysis. NASA is responsible for the launch and mission operations. Large radio dishes around the world, which form NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN), are used to track the spacecraft beyond the Earth’s orbit. Mission control is based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

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