RSOC: the Rosetta Science Operations Centre
The Rosetta Science Operations Centre, based at ESAC in Spain, plays a key role in ensuring the successful scientific operations of the mission and in supporting the Rosetta scientific community.
RSOC is based at the European Space Astronomy Centre, ESAC, in Spain
The primary role of the RSOC team during the cruise phase of the mission (that is, prior to arrival at comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko) is that of interface between the instrument teams (who are situated in various locations throughout Europe and the US) and the Rosetta Mission Operations Centre (RMOC) team located at ESOC.
The RSOC team collate the operation requests - details of spacecraft pointing and operations timelines - for each instrument on the spacecraft, resolve potential conflicts in instrument observations or operations, and provide the resulting consolidated operation requests to RMOC. RSOC also check that instrument operation constraints (for example, ensuring that instruments do not point too close to the Sun) are not violated.
For an important operational phase of the mission, such as the fly-by of asteroid Steins, the team also plans the recovery steps that would be needed in the event of an emergency situation, for example if a spacecraft safe mode was triggered or if the navigation cameras failed to keep track of the asteroid.
During the cruise phase most of the planning is performed manually. Once Rosetta arrives at comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it is anticipated that RSOC will use an automated planning system for centralized planning of the operations during that phase of the mission.
Archiving and distributing Rosetta data
In addition to ensuring the successful scientific operation of the mission the RSOC team is also responsible for archiving the acquired science data and for making this data available to the scientific community once the proprietary period has elapsed, via the ESA Planetary Science Archive and the NASA Planetary Data System.
The team at RSOC
The team currently comprises Kristin Wirth (Science Operations Manager), Michael Kueppers (Scientist), Viney Dhiri (Systems Engineer), Claire Vallat (Science Operations Engineer), Mike Ashman (Science Operations Engineer), and Maud Bathelemy (Archive Scientist), with support from the Mission Independent Group at ESAC and the Planning Software Support Team at ESTEC.
Last Update: 05 Sep 2008