OFJ97 Field Journal from Tal Brady - 2/13/972-13-97
The imaging team sent the results of their tests of the new Solid State Imaging (SSI) camera software for Phase-3. This is the software that runs the camera if the tape recorder breaks down, forcing us to use the contingency flight software. SSI has worked out a way to run their software under Phase-3 conditions (and in the latest delivery, the 2 pixel by 2 pixel summation mode of imaging can now be read from the camera one line at a time). Unfortunately, our Phase-3 CDS flight software, which is due for delivery on Monday (2-17), will need changes in order to work correctly with the new SSI flight software. Looks like the next three days will be busy, but at least this should be the last big change needed for the Phase-3 software.
Looked at the Operations schedule, which lists what's going on with the spacecraft. Playback of the taped data from the E4 orbit ends this weekend and the E6 encounter starts. Wow, seems like things are moving fast.
Delivery of Phase-3A flight software is still scheduled for Monday (2-17) afternoon. Still working on problem fixes for the imaging support. Looks like some weekend work will be needed to check out some of the new software being written today. We could use some more time to test it, but we need to do the post delivery system tests (which will look at *all* of the software running together--the flight software, the instrument software, and so forth) as early as possible to see if we can get images from the camera correctly.
Delivered the new Phase-3A flight software this afternoon. The test team will start running the post delivery system tests tomorrow. The software still needs more testing by the development team then it's getting. More problems are likely to show up in the systems test, which is time consuming and annoying. Fortunately, all of the Phase-3 software except the new imaging software is stable and tested. Of course we all hope we never have to use the Phase-3 software, and as long as the tape recorder continues to work well we won't. It's a good idea though to have backup software, just in case. Developing this Phase-3 backup software took months, and each orbit is about a month. We wouldn't want to lose 4 or 5 orbits of data developing the software after a recorder failure, if one does happen.