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Science Operations

Monitoring. The Science Operations team is responsible for monitoring the LAT for instrument anomolies and for monitoring the data retrieval, pipeline processing, and data transmission infrastructure in order to ensure timely delivery of the science data products to the collaboration and to the GSSC.

In addition, the team monitors intermediate-stage, GLEAM-generated digitization and reconstruction data products to analyze the state of the LAT itself in order to verify that the instrument is functioning as simulations have predicted, and that performance changes over time are understood.

Optimization. The team also reviews data over time and performs analyses to determine whether the flight software GRB detection algorithm and detection parameters are optimal, and if gamma filter settings for automatic repoint request mode and hardware trigger settings are appropriate for data collection during GRB events. Science Ops is also responsible for proposing LAT configurations and LAT flight software configurations.

Calibrations and Procedures. Science Operations also proposes procedures for all diagnostic and charge injection calibration data collections. The Flight Operations team will then convert these high-level science operations requests into mission planning products and record upcoming diagnostic and calibration activities in the weekly LAT Operations Plan. Science Ops also reviews the resulting data and, in consultation with the Calibration and Analysis Working Group, defines new calibration constants to be uploaded.

Trending. Long-term trends in detector performance, as well as accumulated maps of hardware failure, are also maintained and analyzed by the team, which is responsible for continuously feeding them into the mission planning process.

Throughout the mission, but especially during the 60 day commissioning period and Phase 1 sky survey activities, Science Ops is responsible for determining optimal hardware and flight software configurations for data taking.

Problem Identification. On a daily basis, the major Science Ops activity is monitoring. Shifters and scientists work to identify "coarse" instrument problems and prioritize which areas must be investigated further. For example:

Support of Mission Planning. On a weekly time scale, shifters check that all supporting steps for upcoming planned science activities have been completed. This function requires a clear view of the week's mission plan, and the upcoming set of mission activities. Operations staff uses displays to inspect in detail the mission plan for the upcoming day, a list of of tasks planned for the current day. Using data drawn from MOOD, they confirm that all necessary configurations have been loaded, or are ready to be loaded. The also review the previous day's activities in ELog for an overview of past activities, both on the ground and in orbit. For example, they might check the status of a set of MOOT-generated, charge-inject calibration configuration files to ensure that all uploads have been validated and are in place for upcoming planned activities; that the related mission timelines have been updated, and that PROCs and command sets have been tested and subsequently transferred to the MOC.

On longer time scales, the Science Ops team works closely with the Flight Ops team to propose new observation strategies and analyze how these optimized strategies may enhance or otherwise affect proposed activities on teh mission timelines. They will also propose modifications to flight software, together with recommendations for testing these changes on the LAT Testbed using the Front End Simulator.

Last updated by: Chuck Patterson 05/23/2007
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