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August 4, 2002
August 4, 2002 -- Last Thursday, August 1, we prepared ATIC for the main event of pre-deployment integration: the hang test.  During this event all components making up the payload are integrated and the full system is subject to end-to-end testing.  On the days leading up to the hang test we spent a majority of our time solving a few issues with the ATIC - SIP - GSE communication link and minor, but time consuming, hardware problems on the Flight and Detector Control Unit computers.  On "hang test eve" we installed the ATIC solar arrays and weighed a few odds and ends of hardware that would fly, but would not be necessary to install for the hang test (i.e. lower shell, shell bolts, insulation, tape).  

First thing in the morning of 8/1 we obtained a weight for the assembled payload of 3960 pounds.  This is not the correct weight for ATIC by itself as the number includes the NSBF SIP plus the lab cart wheels (which are removed for flight) and does not include the weight of the lower shell.  Using a reasonable estimate for the SIP weight, the ATIC science weight is about 3370 pounds.  

After ATIC was hung below the rotator, which is used to keep the ATIC solar panels facing the sun, on the Tiny Tim launch vehicle and the NSBF solar panels were attached, the power and networking cabling was detached from the experiment and Tiny Tim positioned the payload where there would be good views of the sun all day.  We then proceeded to operate ATIC exclusively via telemetry; uplinking commands via TDRSS relay satellite and VHF and downlinking housekeeping and monitoring data.  A few problems were encountered with commanding via HF and a log file was accidentally left off the flight boot disk causing data collection to abort.  These issues were subsequently resolved over the next few days.

The hang test ended about 5:00 pm with ATIC being rolled back into the hanger.  The results of the test show that ATIC is ready for flight, so we are now preparing for the Mission Readiness Review (MRR) on August 6 and packing the instrument / support equipment for the trip to Antarctica.


The ATIC hang test for 2002 underway 

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