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Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe



Payload Test Phase A continued this week with the successful completion of the checkout of the telescope readout system (the TRE and the two DPAs). In addition, artifical star #3 was installed and successfully detected by the telescope readout system. The gyroscope cable capacitances were measured. The UV charge control system was operated on each gyroscope and gave nominal performance. The team members involved in this work include Rob Brumley, Bruce Clarke, Howard Demroff, Paul Ehrensberger, Bob Farley, and Chris Gray.

The Gyro Suspension System (GSS) group under the leadership of Dr. Bill Bencze and Dr. David Manner has successfully suspended a gyroscope with it's engineering unit (flight-like) electronics, and the C40 DSP. This test verifies that the flight form of the Bridge and High Voltage Amplifiers function properly under the most severe conditions. This is a major milestone, since the Bridge/HVA module is by far the most complicated assembly in the GSS. This combination of 1-G lift capability and use of the Gyro Testbed will allow for comprehensive testing of all operational modes of the GSS. This very important achievement is the result of a group-wide effort, and is due in particular to the outstanding efforts of: Mike Eglington, Jay Dusenbury, Danny Gross, and Sharon Williams.

Photo: Artificial Star #3 on the crane during transit to the probe/dewar assembly.
Large Photo (click small to view): Ted Acworth adjusting the mounting of the Artificial Star onto the probe's telescope window.

The flight control gyroscopes have completed phasing confidence tests in B/205. The gyros were temporarily mounted adjacent to the spacecraft and measured earth rate in high and low mode. The motor current, gyro wheel supply voltage, and temperature control monitors for each gyro were verified.
Photo: LMMS engineers Jon Kirschenbaum and Paul Dulgov preparing to test one of the flight control gyroscopes in B/205.

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