From NASA JPL-Caltech: “Engineers Solve Data Glitch on NASA’s Voyager 1”

From NASA JPL-Caltech

8.30.22
Calla Cofield
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
626-808-2469
calla.e.cofield@jpl.nasa.gov

1
Voyager’s high-gain antenna, seen at the center of this illustration of the NASA spacecraft, is one component controlled by the attitude articulation and control system (AACS). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

A critical system aboard the probe was sending garbled data about its status. Engineers have fixed the issue but are still seeking the root cause.

Engineers have repaired an issue affecting data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft. Earlier this year, the probe’s attitude articulation and control system (AACS), which keeps Voyager 1’s antenna pointed at Earth, began sending garbled information about its health and activities to mission controllers, despite operating normally. The rest of the probe also appeared healthy as it continued to gather and return science data.

The team has since located the source of the garbled information: The AACS had started sending the telemetry data through an onboard computer known to have stopped working years ago, and the computer corrupted the information.

Suzanne Dodd, Voyager’s project manager, said that when they suspected this was the issue, they opted to try a low-risk solution: commanding the AACS to resume sending the data to the right computer.

Engineers don’t yet know why the AACS started routing telemetry data to the incorrect computer, but it likely received a faulty command generated by another onboard computer. If that’s the case, it would indicate there is an issue somewhere else on the spacecraft. The team will continue to search for that underlying issue, but they don’t think it is a threat to the long-term health of Voyager 1.

“We’re happy to have the telemetry back,” said Dodd. “We’ll do a full memory readout of the AACS and look at everything it’s been doing. That will help us try to diagnose the problem that caused the telemetry issue in the first place. So we’re cautiously optimistic, but we still have more investigating to do.”

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been exploring our solar system for 45 years.

Both probes are now in interstellar space, the region outside the heliopause, or the bubble of energetic particles and magnetic fields from the Sun.

More About the Mission

A division of Caltech in Pasadena, JPL built and operates the Voyager spacecraft. The Voyager missions are a part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more information about the Voyager spacecraft, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/voyager

See the full article here .

five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

Stem Education Coalition

NASA JPL-Caltech Campus

NASA JPL-Caltech is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California.

Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

NASA Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA.

NASA Deep Space Network Station 56 Madrid Spain added in early 2021.

NASA Deep Space Network Station 14 at Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California

NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA

NASA Deep Space Network Madrid Spain. Credit: NASA.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.