The AIM spacecraft operations team has made significant progress loading the Electronically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) patches to the On-Board Computer. After almost 7 days without uplink receiver bitlock (the second longest period so far), we have had periods of bitlock every day. This enabled the patches to be transmitted up to the spacecraft. All other spacecraft systems are operating nominally.
SOFIE data continues to be processed, validated, and released in a timely manner. Software improvements are underway that will be included in the next software release. We processed, validated and released profiles for events through May 9th. No NLCs have been detected in the SOFIE data yet this season, but we are continuing to watch for signs of early cloud formation.
CIPS continues to provide excellent science data from all four cameras. Further, our analysis of on-orbit calibration data shows that camera sensitivity has changed less than 0.5% since launch. CIPS data sequencing automatically switched from the Southern to Northern Hemisphere on the first day of spring, as planned. Data from the 2007/2008 southern season is now released and ready for analysis.
CDE is on and collecting dust impact data following the completion of the Recovery ATS. Temperatures and voltages are nominal. CDE Version 2 data processing is being implemented for Levels 1 (Charge) and 2 (Mass).
AIM Selected for Extended Mission Funding
AIM has been selected for extended mission funding following the 2-year Explorer baseline mission. The extension from June 2009 through September 2012 will allow tracking the evolution of mesospheric clouds for an additional seven seasons and provide data to address key outstanding questions including:
- Are there variations in PMCs that can be explained by changes in solar irradiance and particle input?
- What changes in mesospheric properties are responsible for north/south differences in PMC features?
- What controls interannual variability in PMC season duration and latitudinal extent?
- What is the mechanism of teleconnection between winter temperatures and summer hemisphere PMC’s?
- What is the global occurrence rate of gravity waves outside the PMC domain?