WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING 10 July 1998:
The GSS group, led by Bill Bencze and Dave Manner, on Monday 7/6/98 demonstrated several successful gyroscope lifts (in 1G) using the newly designed analog backup controller. This accomplishment allows the GSS group to proceed with the flight analog backup controller design, which was the last major design hurdle for the GSS. Although the GP-B program has been suspending gyroscopes for over 20 years, this was a very difficult milestone to achieve. The backup controller is designed to meet stringent science mission torque specifications. Furthermore, the system is implemented with all analog electronics, which must execute a complex nonlinear control algorithm. Finally, the system must be compatible with the overall GSS architecture which is more sensitive to transients and cross-talk than the more rugged laboratory 1G systems. This is a major accomplishment for the entire GSS group and for GP-B. Special recognition goes to Mike Irwin who led the design and test effort with support from Greg Gutt, and to Rob Brumley who helped develop the initial controller architecture.
SPACE VEHICLE HIGHLIGHT
All eight (seven flight units and one spare) Mass Trim Mechanisms have completed assembly at Litton PolyTech in Blasksburn Virginia. A Relativity Mission Mechanical Product Development Team representative performed a successful cover-off inspection of the units on Tuesday 30 June. The units are scheduled to begin acceptance testing within a month.