Core Observatory Commissioning Continues

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission's Core Observatory commissioning activities continued normally this week. Both the GPM Microwave Imager and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) are collecting science data and NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency released the first images from the instruments on March 25.

The DPR's functional checkout activities and internal calibration continued. The first external calibration using the Active Radar Calibration site in Tsukuba, Japan, was performed on March 23. 

GPM Completes Final Checks, Prepares for Fueling

The GPM Core Observatory completed final checks and the team is preparing to install it in the transportation canister that will move it to the spacecraft and fairing assembly building at JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. There, the spacecraft will be fueled next week, followed by installation into the fairing that will contain the spacecraft on the top of the H-IIA rocket.

GPM Completes Spacecraft Alignments

GPM Completes Spacecraft Alignments

After a holiday break, final tests for the GPM Core Observatory resumed on Dec. 30, 2013, with alignment measurements. The spacecraft's instruments and components, such as star trackers and thrusters, are attached to the main body in specific configurations. Spacecraft alignment measurement is analogous to alignment for the wheels of a car. The Core Observatory measurements ensure that no parts have shifted during its transportation from the United States to Japan, so they will work as expected.

Faces of GPM: Engineers

Video Embed: 

An interview with Beth Weinstein, a GPM integration and test (I & T) engineer, Lisa Bartusek, GPM Deputy Mission Systems Engineer, and Carlton Peters, associate branch head at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the GPM thermal branch development lead.


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