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IMAGE is back from the dead, Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration was found!
El Mitico
post Jan 31 2018, 02:05 PM
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Launched on March 25, 2000, IMAGE, short for Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, was designed to image Earth's magnetosphere and produce the first comprehensive global images of the plasma populations in this region.

After successfully completing and extending its initial two-year mission in 2002, contact was unexpectedly lost on December 18, 2005.

After an amateur astronomer recorded observations of a satellite in high Earth orbit on January 20, 2018, his initial research suggested it was the IMAGE satellite.

you can find more in his blog

https://skyriddles.wordpress.com/2018/01/21...llite-is-alive/

pretty cool!
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Explorer1
post Jan 31 2018, 04:28 PM
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Very cool amateur efforts, just like ISEE-39(ICE)!

It might take a while to get it under actual control, as it looks like control software has changed in the intervening years. They might need to emulate.
NASA press release here: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/n...image-confirmed
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stevesliva
post Feb 1 2018, 02:55 AM
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The failure review board report is an interesting read:

https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/publication/doc...inal_Report.pdf

QUOTE
The OFF condition of the SSPC is recoverable by cycling the command line to the device (which requires an OFF command followed by an ON command). For other than the Transponder SSPC, this could be performed via ground command. However, all ground commands are prevented from being received under the assumed scenario since the Transponder SSPC in an OFF state means that the Transponder itself is OFF (Receiver and Transmitter sections are OFF). Additionally, even if the command sequence could be sent from an on-board stored command load or macro within the SCU, it would be rejected by the PDU (by design). By design, the PDU is the only entity that can control the state of the Transponder SSPC and it will always try to ensure that it is ON, as discussed above. The only avenue identified that could cause the PDU to reset (OFF-ON sequence) the Transponder SSPC is a complete bus reset induced by a low voltage condition (<21 Vdc) which might occur during the next deep eclipse cycle in October 2007.


Or maybe it will finally undervolt sometime around 2017... this rings true. This computer was powered on, deaf, for 10 years, until the voltage finally degraded enough to trigger a reboot.

QUOTE
IMAGE’s orbital precession places the apogee in the Ecliptic for long durations at roughly 3 ½ year intervals. The resulting eclipse periods can exceed two hours in duration for which the spacecraft power system was never initially designed (due to the fact that IMAGE’s nominal two-year mission profile at launch would have never taken it through such a period). Similar long eclipse periods were handled during the extended part of the mission by payload pre-heating followed by intentional load shedding prior to the eclipse entry. This allowed for science instruments and bus components to retain temperatures above survival limits while also reducing battery draw down during the eclipse period. Due to the current situation this strategy cannot be implemented. However, analysis indicates that temperature limits to which observatory components were tested will not be exceeded during the next deep eclipse period. The fact that the spacecraft was not designed to handle deep eclipses is, in fact, what is vital to its possible revival. The next deep eclipse period will be in October 2007 with the longest period of darkness lasting ~160 minutes.


October 2007 April 2011 October 2014 April 2018... and the blog in the OP mentions an October 2016 precovery, so perhaps it was the 3rd eclipse that did it for a reboot.
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Explorer1
post Feb 3 2018, 09:41 PM
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The plot thickens (February 2nd update from the link above)

QUOTE
New data regarding IMAGE provides some additional — though not yet complete — information on how the spacecraft began to transmit signals again.

On Thanksgiving Day in 2004, the IMAGE spacecraft — at that time still fully functioning — underwent an unexpected power distribution reboot, after which the power returned only on one side — labeled the B side — of the unit. (Satellites are usually built with redundant hardware, often called “A sides” and “B sides.” In the event one half fails, operators can switch to the other with minimal effect to the mission.) Scientists involved in the mission concluded that the A side had failed, and proceeded for the rest of the mission exclusively with the B side.

However, data from today’s telemetry with IMAGE indicate that the spacecraft’s power unit is now operating back on its A side. The ultimate cause of the reboot is still not known, but these recent findings suggest that a reboot in some form has, in fact, occurred.
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stevesliva
post Feb 7 2018, 09:41 PM
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There is a Feb 5 update to the same page:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/n...image-confirmed
QUOTE
Current information from the IMAGE spacecraft shows that the battery is fully charged, and that overall, the satellite itself seems to be in good shape. The next step is to attempt to turn on the science instruments – but this could take some time as the 12-year-old software to do so must be recreated.

etc...
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Explorer1
post Feb 7 2018, 11:27 PM
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This is a critical point too:
QUOTE
Should any of the instruments be functional, NASA will convene a panel of external scientists to assess the science potential in the context of constrained budgets for operating spacecraft.


The logistics of this are interesting; they can't exactly bring back the original team, which may be long gone to other careers. Plus opening an office, getting everyone up to speed, (and all on an unplanned shoestring budget!). Luckily no need for DSN time, since it's orbiting Earth, if someone suddenly heard from Spirit...
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