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BeppoSAX U.S. Coordination Facility

BeppoSAX : New Postings

* The latest news from BeppoSAX Science Data Center
  • 11 April 2002 : End of BeppoSAX Operations
    Due to the poor and degrading spacecraft conditions and to the rapid orbital decay ASI has decided to terminate all in-orbit operations of the BeppoSAX mission at the end of April 2002. This date approximately agrees with the end of AO5 and (sadly) coincides with the 6th anniversary of the BeppoSAX launch. On April 30th the spacecraft will therefore be deactivated and put into its final configuration in preparation for re-entry accordingly to the existing international safety regulations. All BeppoSAX ground segment activities will then stop except for FOT production in order to ensure the completion and final validation of the data archive which will be hosted and supported at the ASI Science Data Center for the foreseeable future.
  • 21 March 2002 : BeppoSAX LECS and MECS coordinates estimation improvement
    Following recent work that has led to the removal of a 20'' systematic uncertainty in LECS and MECS source positions, a script, saxposcor is now available to correct the FITS headers of all the event file for the LECS and MECS. The BeppoSAX event files delivered by the ASDC-BeppoSAX to the HEASARC do not have the correction applied. As March 12 2002 all LECS and MECS event files retrieved from the ASDC-BeppoSAX archive have the correction already applied.

  • 23 February 2002 : BeppoSAX Status
    Since January 23 2002, BeppoSAX has progressively lost 4 of the 32 cells of Battery 1. This evolution was somehow expected since October 2001 when Battery 1 first displayed clear signs of irreversible ageing. The loss of these four cells (23,24,29,30) has severely degraded the battery performance with important consequences on the electrical and thermal stability of the spacecraft. Up to Febraury 13 a reduced instrument configuration was anyway supported (PDS, MECS, WFC1,WFC2) in an attempt to continue the AO5 programme as much as possible. However, after that date no scientific activities could be carried out since all the efforts at the Control Center had to be reserved to the rescue of BeppoSAX from a progressive thermal and electrical degrade. Strategies devised by the ground control to support Battery 1 ranged from the increase of the Battery K factor to the switch off of one Battery Discharge Regulator for as much as 15 minutes during the sun eclipse. The net outcome of these activities was the shift of a part of the power load on Battery 2 which is in a healthier condition than Battery 1. Since the loss of the fourth cell (February 23 2002) the spacecraft has not reached thermo-electrical stability yet, while also Battery 2 has started displaying fatigue signals at the end of the discharging phase. Work is still in progress at the OCC in order to re-establish the nominal temperature of 5 thermal loops.The case of a possible restart of some reduced scientific activity will be examined after the nominal thermo-elecrical values are attained. Battery 2 alone has not been designed to support the mission even in a minimal payload configuration. After the loss of Battery 1, Battery 2 will probably only allow the OCC to switch BeppoSAX definitevely off before collapse. At this time the general situation of the Electric Power System is to be considered critical with the possibility of further degradation that could easily lead to a sudden end of the mission.

  • 22 October 2001
    On Friday 19 Oct 2001 at 17:10:52 BeppoSAX has successfully acquired the first scientific target using the new ESM2 'gyroless' pointing system: X1822-371. This pointing is controlled only by STRs troughout the orbit. After several hours of stable control the MECS, PDS and WFCs have been activated and started producing nominal scientific data. Preliminary analysis of the MECS images indicate a full compliance with the mission requirements.

  • 1 October 2001
    ESM2 installation update. The ESM2 commissioning activities have officially started today. The interruption of AO5 observations is scheduled for Thursday 4th 2001 at noon time. The spacecraft will then be prepared for the loading of the new control mode and for the commissioning. Scientific activities are foreseen to restart on October 30 within the ESM2 scenario, pending the reliability and robustness of the new mode. As of today no AO5 TOO requests can be accepted. Only 'fast GRB repointings' will be considered up to next Thursday.

  • 19 September 2001
    ESM2 (gyroless) attitude control mode installation schedule. After the clear signs of degradation recently shown by the last surviving BeppoSAX GYRO, ASI has decided to speed up operations to install the ESM2 'gyroless' attitude control mode. The current schedule foresees a 3 week period of operative commissioning and ground segment reconfiguration. The planned AO5 scientific activity will be interrupted at the end of the first week of October to be resumed after October 29, pending the positive conclusion of the commissioning and the reliability of the ESM2 mode.

  • 13 September 2001
    BeppoSAX scientific operation resumed. Following a period of close monitoring of the GYRO6 behaviour BeppoSAX has resumed its scientific program. Preparations for the installation of the ESM2 "gyroless" poiting system are however ongoing. The plan of the ESM2 installation activities will be available shortly.

  • 4 September 2001
    BeppoSAX Gyro6 update. On 21 and 28 August 2001 BeppoSAX suffered two losses of attitude which triggered a 'safe' mode (GSM). In both cases this was due to a sudden increase of the output from the last surviving gyro (GYRO6) with a dramatic change in the drift estimate. This is normally interpreted as a sign of the gyro degradation which leaves a slim residual lifetime. Since August 28 BeppoSAX has been put out of service in a safe configuration and the GYRO6 behaviour is monitored carefully. No recurrences of the gyro output increase has been since detected. Pending the stabilization of the gyro BeppoSAX will resume the planned scientific activity today however with an increased level of alert on the gyro measurements and operation in general.

  • 6 Aug 2001
    The The AO5 list of approved targets has been released.

  • 20 Apr 2001
    BeppoSAX AO5 issued today The fifth Announcement of Opportunity (AO5) for observations with the BeppoSAX satellite has been issued today. The deadline for proposals submission is May 21 2001. This AO is 100% open to projects led by PIs from any country worldwide.

  • 11 Apr 2001
    AO5 approved! We are pleased to announce that ASI has decided to extend the BeppoSAX mission for another 12 months. AO5 is expected to be issued on April 20 2001.

  • 26 Feb 2001
    ESM2 commissioning postponed. On Feb 19 2001 the BeppoSAX Programme Executive Committee (SPEC) has decided to give priority to AO4 observations over the ESM2 'Gyroless' commissioning (pending the healthy status of the last surviving gyroscope GYR6). The mission director has therefore cancelled the commissioning activities foreseen for 05/03/2001.
    The AO4 observation program shall continue normally until completion. A decision about the ESM2 will be taken if GYR6 fails before the end of AO4.

  • 07 Feb 2001
    ESM2 commissioning. ASI has scheduled for the month of March 2001 the commissioning on board BeppoSAX of the Extended Scientific Mode 2 'Gyroless' (ESM2). This mode has been designed and tested on ground by ASI and Alenia Spazio with the goal of controlling the attitude of BeppoSAX without using the gyroscopes' output however respecting all the pointing and safety requirements of the mission. BeppoSAX is currently controlled by the Extended Scientific Mode 1 'Single Gyro' (ESM1) which uses the output of the last surviving Gyroscope (Gyro6). BeppoSAX scientific activity will be stopped on March 5th 2001 in order to configure the S/C and the ground segment for the commissioning. Current scheduling of activity foresees three weeks of on board uplink and tests. At the end of the commissioning the scientific activity shall be resumed using the ESM2 control mode provided the successfull completion of the test plan and the robustness of the mode. All details about commissioning will be dispatched in this web page.

  • 21 June 2000
    Due to persisting administrative difficulties the SDC is currently experiencing a very severe staff problem. All data processing and data distribution activities are temporarily suspended. ASI is actively working toward a solution of the problem in order to resume all the SDC services in the shortest possible time.

  • 10 June 2000
    The AO4 list of approved targets has been released.

  • 18 April 2000
    New release of the software package SAXDAS 2.1.1 for the NFI.

  • 4 April 2000
    BeppoSAX scientific operations have been reduced by ASI.

  • 16 March 2000
    As a result of the fourth BeppoSAX observing cycle (AO4), the SDC has received 212 valid proposals for a total observing time of 47.2 Ms corresponding to an oversubscription factor of 3.9. The results of the TAC selection will be communicated aproximately the last week of April.

  • 1 Feb 2000
    The AO4 has been released with deadline on March 6 2000.

  • 18 Jan 2000
    AO4 to be issued on Feb 1st 2000
    Following recent ASI/SSSC meetings the SDC has received the go ahead for the fourth BeppoSAX Announcement of Opportunity (AO4). A formal announcement will be made on February 1st; the deadline for proposal submission is anticipated to be March 6 2000.

  • 3 Jan 2000
    Back to normal operations After the short precautionary break due to the Y2K transition, BeppoSAX has restarted normal operations. No problems were encoutered.

  • 28 Dec 1999
    BeppoSAX interrupts normal operations around 1999/2000 transition. Although all the BeppoSAX operational systems have been certified to be Y2K compliant, it has been decided to put the spacecraft in safe mode (Gyroless Safe Mode, GSM) for about 24 hours during the 1999/2000 transition. Normal operations will be resumed on January 1st 2000, approximately at noon time.

  • 27 Dec 1999
    BeppoSAX AO4 update. Because of funding issues not completely solved at this time, the publication of the fourth BeppoSAX Announcemnet of Opportunity (AO4) has been delayed. A final decision about AO4 is expected to be made at the next meeting of the BeppoSAX Scientific Steering Committee which has been scheduled for January 17, 2000.

  • 10 Dec 1999
    Support extension of the BeppoSAX Mission!!

  • Oct 1999
    New public data are available in the HEASARC BeppoSAX archive .

  • 27 Jul 1999
    HPGSPC usage policy. In order to maximize the operational life time of the HPGSPC (which occasionally shows an anomalous behaviour) it has been decided to keep this instrument in standby mode when the target expected flux does not exceed 10 mCrab.

  • 3 May 1999
    BeppoSAX has resumed normal science operations starting on May 1st at 06:30 UT

  • 23 Apr 1999
    Attitude problem

  • 16 Apr 1999
    Attitude problem

  • 30 March 1999 :
    List of approved AO3 targets for the Core and Guest Investigation Program is now available !

  • 7 Jan / 15 January 1999
    New release of software and calibration

  • 8 Dec 1998
    Release of the BeppoSAX AO3

  • 11 May 1998
    Send YOUR publication in support of a proposal to extend BeppoSAX mission operation beyond April 30th 1999

  • 6 May 1998
    NASA Press Release On Gamma Ray Bursts

  • 20 april 1998
    First Workshop Announcement 3-6 November 1998, Rome, Italy
    "Gamma-Ray Bursts in the after glow Era"

  • 24 Mar 1998
    List of approved AO2 targets for the Core and Guest Observer Program is now available !

  • 9 Jan 1998 :
    The American Astronomical Society has awarded
    Ian Van Paradijs and the BeppoSAX team of the "Bruno Rossi Prize" for their work on Gamma Ray Bursts

  • BeppoSAX AO2 (7 Jan 1998) :
    List of approved AO2 targets for the Core Program is now available !

  • 7 Jan 1998 :
    Status of the BeppoSAX Science Data Center and archive opening

  • 5 Dec 1997
    Software release

  • 3 Oct 1997
    Symposium Revised Program
    "The Active Sky Results from BEPPO-SAX AND ROSSI-XTE"

  • 25 Sep 1997
    The second Announcement of Opportunity (AO2) for BeppoSAX observations has been issued on September 15 with deadlines November 14 1997 (Core Program) and January 20 1998 (Guest Observers Program)

  • 25 Sep 1997
    Symposium Program "The Active Sky Results from BEPPO-SAX AND ROSSI-XTE"

  • 14 Aug 1997
    Science Operation restarted

  • 11 Aug 1997
    Gyro problem and the Satellite status

  • June 1997
    Summary on the workshop "Latest developments in Gamma Ray Bursts" Elba Island (Italy), May 26-27, 1997

  • 29 Apr 1997
    Symposium: "The Active Sky Results from BEPPO-SAX AND ROSSI-XTE" Rome (Italy) October 22-24
    X-ray astronomy's two newest missions, Beppo-SAX and Rossi-XTE, are the focus of a symposium being held October 22-24 at Rome's Accademia dei Lincei. In the words of the organizing committee, the aim of the symposium is to "assess, through the joint evaluation of observers and theorists, the impact of the new data on our understanding of the active X-ray sky. 2nd Circular - 25 July 1997

  • 12 March 1997
    The Gamma-Ray Bursts Imaged by BeppoSAX and the BeppoSAX Press Release

  • SAX was successfully launched on April 30 1996 4:31:01 GMT

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This file was last modified on Tuesday, 15-Jan-2008 11:42:37 EST