SOHO SPWG Minutes
SPWG FINAL MINUTES
Wednesday 19 July 2006
1. Boundary conditions
a) Orbit, attitude and manoeuvres
- SOHO is currently upside down
Sep 5 stationkeeping and momentum management (timing TBC)
Sep 11 or 12 roll (TBC)
Dec 5 roll, stationkeeping and momentum management (timing TBC)
b) Communications with the spacecraft
Graphical DSN schedule: http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/soc/dsn/
* Aug 6-10 DSN Goldstone 70-m antenna (DSS-14) bearing inspection
- Due to bearing wear and damage the DSN Madrid 70-m antenna (DSS-63) is
currently out of operation until early 2007. If the Goldstone antenna's
bearings show similar wear/damage, that antenna MAY too be taken out of
operation - 11 days before the beginning of Sep keyhole, leaving Canberra
as DSN's only operational 70-m antenna. Canberra 70-m antenna will be
inspected later at a TBD time, but as soon as possible.
* Aug 21-Sep 20 26 m Keyhole
* Aug 28-Sep 13 34 m Keyhole
- The keyhole plan for the September and December keyholes will be based on
VGM-only or VGMFL5-only to reduce FOT manpower requirements needed for
complex operations during the keyhole. This will allow the FOT personnel
to devote more time on the development of future more automated
operations. The tradeoff is some less science accomplished.
- Outlook for the Sep keyhole is bleak due to severe contention between
several missions (e.g., Mars missions and the Stereo launch) for DSN 70 m
station resources. Due to postponement of the Stereo launch to 20 Aug at
the earliest(see section 2) and the consequent delay of DSN planning the
keyhole plan might not become available until the week beginning 7 Aug.
The keyhole plan may also be straightforward VGM (or even VG) almost
* Nov 24-Dec 11 26 m keyhole
* Nov 27-Dec 8 34 m keyhole
All available keyhole information is at
* Jan 2 DSN Madrid station back in operation (TBC)
c) KNOWN submode dependent activities/submode changes:
* TOO JOP153/MMOP003 Future Major Flare Watch (SM5 if SUMER
observes target, SM6 otherwise)
* TOO JOP175 Extended Filaments at the Limb (see sect. 2a), SM6
* Jul 26,Aug 2 EIT Shutterless #24, SM6
* Aug 21-Sep 19 26 m Keyhole (Aug 28-Sep 13 34 m Keyhole), SM5/6
* Oct 18,25 EIT Shutterless #25, SM6, TBC
* Nov 1-Dec 15 SUMER Campaign, SM5, possibly just Nov 9-19
* Nov 8 Transit of Mercury, SM5/6
* Nov 24-Dec 11 26 m Keyhole (Nov 27-Dec 08 34 m Keyhole), SM5/6
- Some of the default SUMER campaign dates overlap with keyholes -
which is not a problem in itself (submode 5 will often be needed for
keyholes anyhow) as long as potential periods of no SUMER data
between passes can be accepted.
- SUMER plans an engineering campaign November 9-19. No other observations
are planned. Detector testing will be performed. Communication with S/C
experts has shown 'baking' of the detector electronics is possible.
- EIT will probably be supporting JOP 159 only in the week or two before
keyholes, at least as a test.
- According to EIT the Mercury transit observations can be carried out in
either submode 5 or 6. Since SUMER does not plan to observe the transit
(section 2a), higher-resolution observations are possible for EIT and
required submode change timings need to be agreed upon. FDF has provided
the observational geometry data (see section 2).
- Except for Major Flare Watches, TRACE will be doing full disk
mosaics if/when EIT is not able to do synoptic sets due to keyhole
d) Instrument maintenance activities
- EIT Bakeout for the September keyhole, timing TBD
- EIT Bakeout for the December keyhole, timing TBD
- TRACE eclipses
TRACE is in its normal operations mode until the next 'eclipse
season', which is estimated to start on 22 Sep 2006 (doy 265) and
last through to 1 Mar 2007 (doy 60).
2. Priorities for the coming month and more
a) Joint observing plans and campaigns
* 2002/02/25-- JOP136 Default RHESSI Collaborations (#6850),
POC: Tero Siili
* 2002/04/25-- JOP159 CMEs in Lyman-alpha (#6870), SWAN/LASCO/EIT/UVCS,
POC: Chris St Cyr, Eric Quemerais
* 2003/05/13-- Default CDS Co-observations with TRACE (#6950)
* 2003/07/01-- Network-Internetwork Oscillations (#7033), EIT/TRACE,
POC: Scott McIntosh
* 2004/02/19-- JOP175 Extended Filaments at the Limb (#7135),
POC: Chris St Cyr (Chris.StCyr@nasa.gov)
* 2005/09/20-- JOP153/MMOP003 Future Major Flare Watch (#8006)
Campaign #6850 is for "individual instrument studies" selecting an
AR target [partially] influenced by the Max Millennium target
selection to maximise chances of serendipitous co-observations.
EIT supports all with half/full-res 195 A CME watch in submode 5/6,
except JOP175 getting half/full-res 304 A CME watch in submode 5/6, and
Network-Internetwork Oscillations which is TBD by Scott McIntosh. As
long as the spacecraft is in submode 6, all EIT CME watch will be in full
res. Major Flare Watches will be in full-res even if it requires a
submode change, unless the target is observed by SUMER.
A final, long run of campaign #7033 (Network-Internetwork Oscillations)
will take place before the Solar-B launch. When Solar-B participation in
a campaign becomes possible, a new and modified campaign will be set up.
This study has been removed from the TRACE calendar but will be
reinserted if an explicit request is made.
* Jul 17-28 JOP186 Atmospheric Seismology,
CDS/EIT/MDI/TRACE/DST/DOT/VTT, POC: Mike Marsh
EIT will run CME watch in 171 A to support.
This coordination no longer conflicts with the requested coordination
with SST July 27 - Aug 08. MDI will support JOP186 with 1 minute
cadence, HR Mags, Dopplergrams and Filtergrams if target is within the
HRFOV, FD Mag/Doppler otherwise.
CDS and TRACE have defined programs.
* Jul 26, Aug 2 EIT Shutterless #24, 18-20:40 UT
* Jul 27-Aug 08 La Palma observations, Small magnetic features and their
radiative counterparts, MDI/SST, POC: Vicente Domingo
See above response for JOP186. MDI will coordinate observations for both
studies. At MDI's request improved DSN coverage has also been requested
for 07:30-20:00 UT each day. The outcome of the request is TBD. SOCs
have also inquired, whether wider SOHO support would be needed or be
TRACE has contacted the POC.
CDS is investigating support possibilities.
* Aug 5-19 Faraday Rotation Measurements, UVCS/LASCO/EIT(TBC)/Cassini,
POC: Mari Paz Miralles
* Aug 16-20 MDI Continuous Contact
The default plan is high-resolution magnetograms and dopplergrams.
* Aug 20 Stereo Launch, TBC
See also section 3 and http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/launch.shtml &
* Aug 25-Sep 3 JOP178/JOP157 Filament and its Environment,
POC: Brigitte Schmieder, TBC
Overlaps with the September keyhole. MDI will try to support this
for the first couple of days, but after that, no support is
EIT will run CME watch in 304 A August 25 - start of bakeout (TBD).
TRACE will support.
CDS support will be limited due to the keyhole.
* Sep 23 Solar B launch, TBC
* Sep 27-Oct 6 La Palma observations, Propagation of low frequency
waves & spicule formation, MDI/TRACE/SSO,
POC: Bart DePontieu
MDI has requested extra DSN coverage for 08-18 UTC. The DSN schedule for
this time frame is being worked on, but has not been finalised yet.
Default observation plan is high resolution magnetograms, dopplergrams
and filtergrams (or some combination of the three).
TRACE is supporting this request (TBC).
* Oct 11-15 MDI Continuous Contact
No plans yet, default plan is full-disk magnetograms and
* Oct 18,25 EIT Shutterless #25, TBC
Shutterless #25 still TBC. DSN schedule for SOHO for this time frame has
not been built yet.
* Oct 24 Dual sounding rocket launch for CELIAS/SEM, TIMED/SEE
and SDO/EVE cross-calibration, CELIAS/TRACE/TIMED/SDO,
POC: Andrew Jones, TBC
Most up-to-date and detailed information on the launches (e.g.,
instrument characteristics, launch windows) can be found at
This is an expanded repeat of 2005 Aug CELIAS/SEM calibration flight.
Exact launch time is TBD, but most likely it will be 1720-2020 UTC. The
exact timing is dependent on the TIMED orbit, and that will not be
finally determined until about 8-10 weeks before launch. Backup launch
date is between 7-27 Feb 2007.
Request is for going to record for approximatly 10 min even if SOHO is
in contact. MDI is OK with this.
TRACE would like to participate and has contacted the POC.
CDS is considering support.
* Oct 25-Nov 2 Facular Irradiance Characteristics: Sunspot Penumbral
Filament and/or Light-Bridge Dynamics, MDI/TRACE/SSO,
POC: Tom Berger, TBC
MDI has requested extra DSN coverage for 08-18 UTC. Due to Stereo launch
slip to 20 Aug the DSN schedule for this Oct-Nov time frame has not been
built yet. Default observation plan is high resolution magnetograms,
dopplergrams and filtergrams (or some combination of the three).
TRACE supports this request.
* Nov 1-Dec 15 SUMER Campaign
Detector testing will be done Nov 9-19. No other observations are
planned at this time. See section 1c. if SOLAR-B is in orbit and if the
engineering activities allow, SUMER will try to run some co-observations
with EIS. SUMER team will not prepare a detailed plan for this, but will
react and decide on short notice.
* Nov 8 Mercury Transit
The Mercury transit in November will be seen by SOHO. The SOHO visibility
information received from FDF on 14 Jul 2006 - i.e., the ingress,
greatest transit, and egress points - are summarized below:
The angular radius of the Sun as seen from SOHO will be 0.27137 deg, the
lowest SOHO/Sun/Mercury angle will be 0.1153 deg.
I. (just touching outside) = 2006/11/08 20:09:32 UTC
II. (just touching inside) = 2006/11/08 20:11:23 UTC
Greatest Transit (closest approach of the centers): 2006/11/08 22:38:43 UTC
This separation is 413.978 arc-sec
III. (just touching inside) = 2006/11/09 01:06:08 UTC
IV. (just touching outside) = 2006/11/09 01:07:59 UTC
Finally, Transit Total Duration: 4 h 58 min 27 s
The FDF-provided data for the transit in 5 min increments can be found at
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/soc/transits/mercury/20061108/ in HTML,
text and Excel formats.
All values above and in the spreadsheet are with respect to SOHO.
For summary information on the view from Earth, see
EIT will observe the transit.
LASCO to observe Mercury through C3 and C2 fields. TBC.
MDI can observe the transit and requests SOHO not to be in record.
Obtaining observations of the November 2006 Mercury transit is extremely
important to MDI, specifically for solar radius measurements. The only
other Mercury transit MDI has observed is the 2003 transit and the next
Mercury transit won't be until 2016 (there will be a Venus transit in
2012, but that is also rather far into the future...). It is imperative
that MDI get high rate observing for the entire transit and for a few
hours on either side.
TRACE will be supporting with observation for Jay Pasachoff. The transit
occurs, however, during TRACE's eclipse season (see section 1e), hence
support will depend on the exact timing and possible coincidence of the
transit and a TRACE eclipse.
CDS will consider transit observations.
No SUMER observations planned during Mercury transit.
The SOCs have requested that SOHO is in contact during the transit, i.e.,
that SOHO has a baseline and backup DSN stations available. Any updates
on the FDF-provided information will be relayed to the instrument teams
as soon as it becomes available.
* Nov 8-12 MDI Continuous Contact
Default plan is 1-min cadence, full disk magnetograms and dopplergrams.
* Dec 19--)2007 Exceptional Ulysses Quadrature (ends May 19, 2007)
UVCS will encourage the lead observers to take advantage of the
Ulysses-SOHO quadrature beginning this December when planning observation
programs. UVCS will schedule extra observation time devoted to this
quadrature and said schedule will be made available to the SOHO SOCs. A
document from Steve Suess and Giannina Poletto discussing the
Ulysses-SOHO quadrature geometry is available from Michael Uzzo and also
CDS support will be considered.
* Jan 5-7 MDI Continuous Contact
Current default plan is full-disk magnetograms and dopplergrams.
b) Intercalibration activities
Last Intercal 1: 28 June 2006
* Jul 19 ICAL01 (#7113), CDS/EIT, 11UT
* Aug 14-18 ICAL01 (#7113), CDS/EIT, TBC
Details and confirmation will be determined by the planners.
Future ICALs are TBD. EIT: ICALs are OK except during the weeks of
shutterless or of the Mercury transit.
c) Individual instrument plans
See section 2a for MDI continuous contact periods.
MDI may reduce the ALT cadence during Keyholes to be less than 15 ALT
magnetograms per day if the lack of high rate telemetry is such that we
will lose all or almost all of the 15 ALT Magnetograms each day. The ALT
cadence will be decided on an individual Keyhole basis and even a daily
basis during each Keyhole depending on the 70 m antenna availability at the
time. MDI may also downlink select magnetograms in the 5 kbps telemetry if
no 70 m passes are available at least every 2 days for Mag dump in the 160
All requests for MDI support need to be made several months ahead of
time and sent to mdi-ops(at)mdisas.nascom.nasa.gov. Even outside
keyholes, MDI can only do 1-minute cadence observations when we have
contact and there is no recorder dump in progress.
MDI's REQUEST page is at
http://mdisas.nascom.nasa.gov/coordination.txt NOTE: Listing of a
study on that page means *only* that a request has been received, not
that it will necessarily be supported.
A description of MDI Observing Modes most used for JOPs and campaigns
(FD vs. HR) can be found at http://mdisas.nascom.nasa.gov/Collaborate.
Anyone requesting MDI observations is encouraged to read this page in
order to have a better idea of what observing modes would be best suited
for a particular study. More detailed information about how MDI
operates, observational constraints and telemetry information can be
found at http://mdisas.nascom.nasa.gov/MDI_Collaboration_Details.
MDI is now in FOC4 for better focus for high resolution observing. We will
stay with this focus setting at least until November 2.
Regarding the 70-m inspections and availability:
It is understood that the maintenance and inspections are out of our
control, but MDI relies on these antennas during keyholes (they are needed
at least every 2 days) to get continuous medium-l data (in the 5 kbps) AND
at least one synoptic magnetogram. According to DSN the inspection of the
Goldstone antenna should be done before the September Keyhole, but maybe
the DSN could be reminded of how important these 70 m antennas are to us
and ask them to please try their best to not let the inspection spill into
the keyhole - as the DSN is already short of one 70 m antenna (D63). The
September 2006 keyhole is a rough one already, so maybe losing more 70 m
support won't matter much. MDI understands how important these inspections
are, we definitely want to make sure these 70m antennas are in good shape
and will be around for a long time for our use. We support these efforts,
but would like our keyhole situation taken into account now and in the
We have been using the LyA detector for some observations and will
keep planning so when appropriate.
For weekly plans, see the SOHO calendar and the UVCS planning page:
See also the Exceptional Ulysses Quadrature (Dec 2006 -)) in section 2a.
For details see http://solar.bnsc.rl.ac.uk/scientificops/request.shtml.
LASCO reduced exposure for Mercury pre and post the transit. TBC.
See sections 1c and 2a.
TRACE is in its normal operations mode until the next 'eclipse
season' (for estimated dates see section 1e).
NASA has announced that it plans to continue funding of TRACE
operations at close to the FY06 level through FY08, followed by a
significant ramping down of operations into FY09.
NOTE that TRACE in general reserves the right to withdraw support
from agreed, existing collaborations if a sufficiently "good active
region" is called by the Max Millennium group.
3. Any other business
* Next SPWG:
Fri 25 Aug after Daily & Weekly meetings.
The rest are FYI items:
* If anyone has projects that require high rate (i.e. 1 minute cadence) MDI
support, now is a good time to ask! If you need MDI data, make sure you
request it specifically. There is no significant change in the shutter
performance over the last 10 months; monitoring continues, but no immediate
changes in operations are planned.
* DSN support should be requested at least 6 months in advance. Keep this
in mind for: ground-based collaborations that require MDI support,
stellar/shutterless observations that require NRT, etc.
* Solar-B launch is currently scheduled for 23 Sep 2006. Science
observations (including some MDI, TRACE and possibly STEREO collaborations)
are tentatively scheduled to begin approximately 45 d thereafter.
Spacecraft and launch site scheduling issues may push the launch from Sep
to Nov-Dec time frame.
* Coordinated observations between Stereo and SOHO seem feasible
approximately 120 d after Stereo launch (TBC). Information will be
provided as soon as it becomes available. Simon Plunkett at NRL should be
the contact for STEREO JOPs; the other three instruments are pretty much on
or off only.
* Future Mercury and Venus transits: SOC is requesting the Flight Dynamics
Facility (FDF) to provide estimates and data for not only disk, but also
for coronal transits. For this purpose FDF needs a criterion
(radial/angular distance from Solar disk centre) to define the coronal
transits. Currently FDF has been instructed to use
SOHO/Sun/[Mercury,Venus] angle of (35 arcmin (from centre of Solar disk) as
criterion. Instrument teams are requested to provide the SOC with
information on whether a larger angle is applicable.