Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jules Verne demonstrates flawless Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre

17.03.2008
Mission controllers received confirmation shortly after 10:45 CET (09:45 UT) this morning that Jules Verne ATV had successfully demonstrated the critical Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre. The crucial test began at 08:57 CET (07:57 UT), and included placing the spacecraft into a minimally functioning 'survival' mode.

The in-flight Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre, or CAM, demonstration was necessary to prove that the spacecraft could reliably move away from the ISS in case of any problems during the final rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station. Upon detection of a critical failure or an unsafe situation, the spacecraft's Monitoring and Safing Unit (MSU) is designed to isolate the ATV's nominal systems and issue a CAM command.

"It went perfectly - the MSU commanded ATV exactly as expected. After that, we had a perfect recovery of the spacecraft, from sun-pointing safe mode, and we reset the on-board computers. ATV is back in cruise mode," said Alberto Novelli, ESA's Mission Director at the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France.

The complex procedure involved shutting down all of the normal control systems and placing the spacecraft into 'last-chance' survival mode. After the manoeuvre was positively demonstrated and confirmed, controllers implemented a lengthy 'exit-from-survival' recovery process that brought all systems back into nominal operation.

"The performance was absolutely flawless. We know now that it is completely safe for us to go to the Station because we always have an independent way to get away from it. This demonstrates that our back-up 'spacecraft within a spacecraft' works perfectly - it's good to have this tool in our back pocket," said John Ellwood, ESA's ATV Project Manager.

An enhanced team of some 60 mission controllers from ESA and French space agency CNES watched this morning's test intently from the ATV Control Centre. If any problems had occurred during survival mode, it would have been very difficult to recover the spacecraft.

"This independent mode relies on separate computers, separate software, separate batteries, separate trajectory monitoring sensors and separate thrusters. The only item shared with the ATV's main system is propellant," explained ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, senior advisor to the ATV project.

The test was conducted with ATV orbiting well away from the ISS, and included a 200-second thruster burn, which took place as the spacecraft passed over northern Africa. A final orbit determination will be done later today.

The CAM demonstration was also monitored closely by ESA's ISS partners, with NASA operations personnel seated on console in the ATV Control Centre. The US and Russian ISS control centres and ESA's Columbus Control Centre also monitored the test. One important result of the demonstration was to prove to the partners that the CAM functionality was reliable and could assure the safety of the Station and crew members. The CAM demonstration results are now being analysed by the ISS partners.

Additional demonstrations of Jules Verne's functionality are scheduled later in the month, with actual rendezvous and docking planned for 3 April 2008.

Markus Bauer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ATV/SEMWJMM5NDF_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>