Monday Morning Memo

Here's a brief synopsis of what's going on this week in regards to Physics... and beyond.

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Posted by Jill Ackerman at 2:40PM   |  Add a comment

Monday Feb. 20:

Tuesday Feb. 21:

Physics Spring Seminar - 12:10 in CNS 204

Talk: Flyby Tales: Design and Execution of the New Horizons Pluto Encounter
with Ann Harch, Southwest Research Group 

Design of the New Horizons Pluto Encounter sequence shares many of the challenges faced in the early asteroid flybys by the Galileo and NEAR spacecraft. Optimizing the science return from these encounters requires sifting through a surprising tangle of navigation, instrument and spacecraft constraints.  A major challenge is that ground-based knowledge of the target body position is typically too poor to allow a plan that will guarantee capture of  the highest resolution images possible. Without the benefit of a closed-loop on-board 'auto navigation' capability, the refinement of the pointing to the target body or system  relies on a ground-in-the-loop analysis of images taken by the spacecraft on approach. This is followed by a harrowing 'late-update' process during which the pre-planned sequence pointing is updated days or sometimes hours before the best observing period during closest approach.

This talk will touch first on these early asteroid flybys, but focus primarily on the challenges faced in the Pluto Encounter sequence design. The Pluto problem adds the operational complexity of taking place over 3  billion miles from the Earth, and the fact that there are large unresolved ground-based radial uncertainties in the ephemeris of Pluto because it has only been observed from Earth for a fraction of its 248 year orbit.

Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1. Please bring your own cup. Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.

Wednesday Feb. 22:

Thursday Feb. 23:

Friday Feb. 24:






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