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Key dates

2014 July 29: launch ATV-5
2015 Jan 26: DC8 upload
2015 Feb 14: ATV undock
2015 Feb 24: DC8 deploy
2015 Feb 27: ATV re-entry


Jay Grinstead (NASA Ames) - NASA project manager
Holger Krag (ESA, SDO) - ESA project manager
Stefan Loehle (U. Stuttgart) - European science team lead
Peter Jenniskens (SETI Inst.) - DC8 Project Scientist

NASA - Jessica Culler
ESA - Daniel Scuka

Research library

+ ESA ATV-5 news website
+ NASA ISS Office
+ ESA Space Debris Office
+ NASA Orbital Debris Program Office
+ NASA Ames Research Center

+ ATV-1 Reentry Observing Campaign

Mission: A multi-instrument airborne campaign to monitor the shallow reentry of ESA's 5th, and final, Automated Transfer Vehicle over the south Pacific ocean to better understand the physics of the end of life International Space Station de-orbit and the physics of shallow uncontrolled reentries.


AHI lab test

January 30, 2015 - The DC8 crew had a down day today. Ron Dantowitz and Jason McClure (shown) report that the Anastigmatic Hyperspectral Imager (AHI) performed well in laboratory tests and is being prepared for shipment to NASA. AHI is a Schmidt-corrected Czerny-Turner spectrograph with an EMCCD sensor, at top. This instrument shares a tracking platform with the pair of near-infrared sensors that make up the Two-Point Optical Pyrometer (2POP), seen in the foreground.

January 30, 2015 - ATV5 is approaching the end of its mission. ATV5 is now being loaded with waste [ATV5 blog]. CNES produced this animation video for the ATV-5 mission including launch, docking, cargo ops, undocking and reentry. Note that ISS also orbits Earth and ATV5 will remain almost constantly near nadir for the cameras onboard ISS.

CEFIR instrument installed.

January 29, 2015 - Sven Weikert reports that the tracking camera CEFIR is installed in the DC8, for now without vibration damping pads. The pads require longer screws than available, which have been ordered and will arrive on Tuesday. An acceleration sensor developed by NASA to measure the vibrations is installed on the gimbal and will take measurements during the shake-down flight later that day.

CEFIR rack upload
CEFIR rack uploaded.

January 28, 2015 - Sven Weikert reports that the CEFIR rack was mounted and uploaded into the aircraft today. The CEFIR mount is back from testing and being prepared for installation.


Communication test
Top: From left to right: Adam Webster, Ferdinand Fahlbusch and Sven Weikert with the CEFIR instrument. Bottom: Dave Van Gilst testing INMARSAT video uplink.

January 27, 2015 - Today, Sven Weikert and Ferdinand Fahlbusch of Astos arrived from Germany. They unpacked the CEFIR instrument and its installation was discussed with Adam Webster. The CEFIR mount is completed, but is still being tested. Also today, Dave Van Gilst, Lori Losey and Tim Peters tested video communications through INMARSAT. Mike Koop tested the time-stamped DVR recording of pointing cameras. The instrument platforms were mounted in the aircraft, as well as the right-hand seats.

Bruce Gentry reports that TWiLiGHT had some initial wiring issues that required debugging and evaluation on Monday and Tuesday morning. There was also an issue with the data system hard drive that required some work. By mid-afternoon on Tuesday though these issues had been resolved and an end-to-end test of the system start up, initialization and calibration procedures was completed. There was no atmospheric measurement possible so the laser/telescope bore sight and automated alignment was not tested. The first opportunity to test this function will be during the test flight on February 23rd.


TWILIGHT below deck
Top: Bruce Gentry with TWiLiGHT instrument. Bottom: TWiLiGHT wind lidar being installed.

January 26, 2015 - Bruce Gentry of NASA Goddard reports that TWiLiGHT and its drop sondes have been installed. The rack-mounted electronics for recording the signals of the sondes is still missing. TWiLiGHT will provide vertical wind profiles from ground to aircraft over the entry area to validate model wind profiles used to track the falling fragments. The mechanical integration of TWiLiTE in the Nadir port 2 location on the DC-8 was completed by the DCFriday, Jan 23. The electrical cabling of the instrument subsystems and plumbing of the thermal control loop was completed that evening but too late for any verification testing to be completed. The bulk of the TWiLiTE instrument team flew home on Saturday. Bruce stayed to complete the testing to verify the major subsystems (HOE telescope, laser, etalon and data acquisition system) were operating at a nominal level.

DC8 before upload

January 26, 2015 - This is what a clean slate looks like: inside of the DC8 Airborne Laboratory. TWILIGHT has been installed (right, foreground), but no other cameras and seats are mounted in the aircraft. Eight windows are still being tested, projected to be completed before week's end.


ECHELLE upload
Mike Koop delivering ECHELLE spectrograph.

January 26, 2015 - Our campaign is about to transit into the next phase: instrument upload. Today, Mike Koop (photo) and Peter Jenniskens delivered ECHELLE and INT to the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale (photo above). They met with mission manager Tim Moes, communications specialist Dave Van Gilst and instrument integration specialist Adam Webster, and met many of the other NASA crew of engineers that support the upload.

The DC8 upload support crew (daily crew briefs are at 1 pm):

Donny Bailes
David Van Gilst
Adam Webster
Tim Moes
Mission Manager
Kevin Mount
Crew chief
Scott Silver
Quality Assurance
Karen Richards
Lab Manager
Matt Berry
Operations Engineer
Brad Grantham
Avionics Technician
Terrance Dilworth
Avionics Technician
David Johnson
James Smith
ATV-5 Deployment Crew Chief

[Archive - Phase I: Preparations]

SETI Institute logo Curator: Peter Jenniskens
Responsible NASA Official: Jay Grinstead
Responsible ESA Official: Holger Krag

Last update: July 27, 2014

Hosted by: The SETI Institute
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