Revised July 16, 1999
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to establish an agreement between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for provision of a real-time down-link data capability for the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) spacecraft. This MOU outlines the general roles, responsibilities and other points of agreement between the two parties for this purpose. The working-level interface for this activity is between the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Explorers Project Office and the NOAA Space Environment Center (SEC). Specific agreements between the GSFC Project and NOAA SEC concerning data rates and data formats, procedures and commitments in the event of anomalies and impacts to the schedule shall be further documented and executed at the project level.
The NASA IMAGE mission will be used to study the global response of the magnetosphere to changing conditions of the solar wind. IMAGE will be placed in a highly elliptical earth orbit (1000 km perigee, 7 Earth Radii apogee) to carry out remote imaging measurements. The instrument complement consists of three neutral atom imagers, two far ultraviolet imagers, one extreme ultraviolet imager and one radio plasma imager. Launch is planned for February 2000. The IMAGE real-time data capability desired by NASA and NOAA is expected to provide benefits to the national space weather effort and to the basic research goals of the mission.
The IMAGE real-time data will be considered as a secondary experiment whose objective is to provide a data stream containing the IMAGE instrument science data. The IMAGE real-time capability will utilize the output of the seven IMAGE instruments and transmit at a data rate (approximately 44,000 bits per second) containing useable raw data through the IMAGE transmitter for approximately 24 hours per day.
This MOU will be in effect from the date of signing until the IMAGE mission is terminated. The MOU may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the signatories, or unilaterally terminated upon 60 days advanced written notice.
A. For the purpose of this MOU, the activities for the accommodation and operation of the real-time data capability on IMAGE during the major phases of the program will be:
a. Phase C/D development -- participation in mission level reviews, real-time data format selection, development and implementation.
b. Phase E operations -- spacecraft real-time data activation, preliminary check out, on-orbit operation.
B. The following ground rules will be observed for the real-time data capability:
a. Development of the real-time data capability will be provided by NASA on a best efforts basis while not interfering with the preparation for the IMAGE mission.
b. The original science priorities for the IMAGE mission have priority over the real-time space weather data capability for spacecraft resources and operations.
c. NASA's current budget and schedule will not be impacted. NASA funds will not be available to cover any costs associated with the implementation of the ground operations of the real-time data capability of the mission.
d. The NOAA level of effort in support of IMAGE will be based on resource availability and on the anticipated benefit to operational services.
e. The IMAGE instruments supporting the real-time data capability, specified in Part 11 of this MOU, may be subject to being descoped in accordance with the IMAGE Descope Plan prepared by the project. The Descope Plan will be implemented in the event of budget or schedule problems.
f. The real-time data format will be utilized after the IMAGE spacecraft has been fully checked out in accordance with the IMAGE On-orbit Checkout Plan. However at NASA's discretion the real-time data format may be turned on for the purposes of making preliminary checks prior to final check out.
g. NOAA may select a representative to serve as a non-voting or ex officio member of the IMAGE science team.
h. The IMAGE mission principal investigator is Dr. J Burch of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Dr Burch and his team will be responsible for the development and spacecraft operation of the real-time data capability. As such, all working level discussions will include representatives from the SwRl as well as from NASA and NOAA.
NASA will provide information such as spacecraft transmitter power, carrier frequency, bit rate, modulation index, and other relevant information regarding the real-time telemetry to NOAA for use in obtaining ground station compatibility to receive the spacecraft real-time data. NOAA will be notified of any changes in parameters which may affect data reception or reduction at the available ground stations.
A. NASA/GSFC/Explorers Project Office
NASA, through the GSFC Explorers Project Office, will strive to accomplish the following responsibilities:
a. Provide the capability of transmitting the real-time data from the IMAGE spacecraft.
b. Operate the spacecraft real-time capability on a non-interference basis with the higher priorities of the IMAGE mission.
c. Provide the necessary hardware specifications and software to NOAA for reduction of the real-time data and the calculation of the data products to be used in the NOAA and USAF operations centers and distributed to the general public.
B. NOAA/Space Environment Center
NOAA, through the SEC, will strive to accomplish the following responsibilities:
a. Provide personnel for participation in the mission level design reviews and for consultation with the IMAGE principal investigator as needed, during the development and operations phases of the mission.
b. Identify ground stations for the acquisition of the real-time data and assure radio frequency compatibility between the IMAGE transmitter and the available ground stations.
c. Acquire the real-time data from the available ground stations, process a subset of the data, and make the processed data available to the IMAGE partners, to the NOAA operations centers, and point all others to the official IMAGE archive at the National Space Science Data Center at GSFC.
C. Joint responsibilities
It is the responsibility of each party to immediately notify each other of changes, critical situations, or problems which may affect the real-time data capability and/or mission schedules, resource requirements, or objectives.
No funding will be required to implement this agreement.
The NASA Program Executive for IMAGE before launch is Mr. William Huddleston, Code SD, 202-358-0895. The NASA Program Scientist is Dr Lawrence Zanetti, Code SR, 202-358-0888. The NASA MO&DA Manager and Program Executive after launch is Dr Charles Holmes, Code SR, 202-358-2224. The NOAA point of contact for the real-time data requirement is Dr. Terrance Onsager, 303-497-5713.
Each Party may release information covering its own activities conducted pursuant to this MOU. Release of NOAA data shall contain the following statement: "Data were obtained from the real-time data system link aboard the NASA Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration Explorer."
Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. David Evans
Associate Administrator for Space Science
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Edward J. Weiler