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Mission Control/Operator Responsibilities

Students in Mission Control roomIn the Mission Control Center, located on the fourth floor of the College of Arts and Sciences building at Boston University, student operators control the satellite as it crosses over Boston in a sun-synchronous orbit. The room is equipped with computer terminals, operator instruction manuals, and record logs.

Ten student operators devote 10-15 hours per week to the TERRIERS mission. To become an operator they participated in intense training that included learning UNIX commands, training with the computer software, and learning about satellite subsystems and operation.

Students in Mission Control roomOperators are responsible for sending command schedules to the satellite to make sure it is oriented optimally. They also analyze engineering data to make sure the temperature and battery power on the satellite are within appropriate limits. Operators complete a contact log after every contact with the satellite to track key events and keep TERRIERS team members up-to-date on the condition of the satellite. By analyzing past data and searching for anomalies to prevent future aberrations, they help maintain the health of the satellite.

The first contact between the satellite and Mission Control Center, "first light over Boston," is expected on April 19 between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. EST.

26 May 1999
Center for Space Physics
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