17 September 2012 XMM-Newton operations beyond the design lifetime
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Abstract
After more than twelve years in orbit and two years beyond the design lifetime, XMM-Newton continues its near faultless operations providing the worldwide astronomical community with an unprecedented combination of imaging and spectroscopic X-ray capabilities together with simultaneous optical and ultra-violet monitoring. The interest from the scientific community in observing with XMM-Newton remains extremely high with the last annual Announcement of Observing Opportunity (AO-11) attracting proposals requesting 6.7 times more observing time than was available. Following recovery from a communications problem in 2008, all elements of the mission are stable and largely trouble free. The operational lifetime if currently limited by the amount of available hydrazine fuel. XMM-Newton normally uses reaction wheels for attitude control and fuel is only used when offsetting reaction wheel speed away from limiting values and for emergency Sun acquisition following an anomaly. Currently, the hydrazine is predicted to last until around 2020. However, ESA is investigating the possibility of making changes to the operations concept and the onboard software that would enable lower fuel consumption. This could allow operations to well beyond 2026.
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Arvind N. Parmar, Arvind N. Parmar, Marcus G. F. Kirsch, Marcus G. F. Kirsch, J. Ramon Muñoz, J. Ramon Muñoz, Maria Santos-Lleo, Maria Santos-Lleo, Norbert Schartel, Norbert Schartel, } "XMM-Newton operations beyond the design lifetime", Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84430Z (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.930531; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.930531
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