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BeppoSAX : New Postings
The latest news from
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
Following recent work that has led to the removal of a 20'' systematic
uncertainty in LECS and MECS source positions, a script,
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
- 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
- 16 Apr 1999
- 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
- 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
- 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
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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