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GCN Circular 9664

Subject
Swift satellite anomaly
Date
2009-07-14T20:36:03Z (15 years ago)
From
Neil Gehrels at GSFC <gehrels@milkyway.gsfc.nasa.gov>
The Swift observatory is currently experiencing an anomaly, and
normal science operations have been temporarily suspended. Data
on the onboard solid state recorder (SSR) were found to be
corrupted starting at 1532UT on July 12.  The spacecraft is still
pointing as commanded.  Good data are returned when the
downlink is through TDRSS and when real-time data are sent to the
Malindi ground station during a pass.  It appears that the problem
is in the writing or storage of data on the SSR.  The anomaly is
being worked by a group including the operations team at Penn
State, the Swift project at Goddard and the General Dynamics
engineering team in Gilbert, Arizona.  The first step will be to fully
characterize the problem, followed by efforts to restore operations
of the SSR.

During this time, Swift will observe targets that were being viewed
prior to the anomaly.  Swift will not slew to new TOOs or new GRBs.
BAT will continue to detect new GRBs and transients, and will
telemeter the usual messages through TDRSS to the ground for
distribution by the GCN.  XRT and UVOT continue to observe, but
almost none of the science data are being successfully transmitted
to the ground.  Ground-based follow-up of BAT GRBs is strongly
encouraged.

More information will follow as we learn more.
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