ESA’s GOCE Recovers From Computer Glitch
[Satellite TODAY 09-08-10] The European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite has recovered from a late July computer glitch and has resumed collecting data, the agency announced Sept. 7.
The $444 million GOCE satellite resumed normal operations after engineers raised the spacecraft’s temperature by about 7 degrees Celsius, ESA officials said.
The anomaly, which ESA attributed to a communications link between processor and telemetry modules in a backup unit, put GOCE out of commission for almost two months while engineers worked on software patches to restore the satellite’s capacity.
In February, a primary computer chip on the spacecraft failed, forcing GOCE’s engineers to switch the satellite over to its backup computer. ESA said the two incidents are not related.
GOCE, manufactured by Astrium and launched in March 2009, aims to monitor variations in Earth’s gravity caused by ocean trenches, mountains and differences in density to predict how these changes could affect global warming.