Herschel Space Observatory SPIRE Instrument Control Center meeting hosted in NAOC
After a half year’s preparation, on October 17-19, 2011 NAOC hosted the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) Instrument Control Center meeting. SPIRE is one of the three main instruments onboard the 3.5-meter Herschel Space Observatory of European Space Agency (ESA). Nearly 30 scientists from 10 countries, regions, and organizations attended the meeting. The meeting agenda includes status report, workload summary, issues reviews, and technical planning for subsystems of SPIRE/Herschel.  Possibility of extending Chinese support to Herschel in post-operational phase was also discussed. Chinese engineer Li Bo gave a talk on Herschel public science software system that is responsible by NAOC.

SPIRE works in far-infrared band in 210-600 micron on Herschel telescope, and can make photometry, mapping, and low resolution spectral imaging observations. There has been no instrument meeting SPIRE’s observation capability before. Furthermore because space budget cuts globally, it’s possible that no other instruments can reach its status in the next 20 years. Due cryogenic liquid helium limits, Herschel’s lifetime has reached 70%. Scientific in-orbit operation has moved into finale stage. The SPIRE ICC Meeting is important as a link between the in-orbit and post-op stages. This meeting shows that Chinese astronomical community is making solid progress into the forefront of engineering activities of human scientific exploration.
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