- Tram Ho
Last Friday, NASA said that after more than a month of trouble, the legendary Hubble telescope was back up and running thanks to the backup computer hardware attached to it. The successful restoration of the telescope comes just two days after the agency said it had narrowed down the source of the problem.
Before that, from mid-June, a computer operating the Hubble telescope began to fail to write data into memory. This computer is responsible for managing scientific instruments as well as ensuring that the data it generates is sent back to Earth. Although this error does not pose any danger to the hardware, it does prevent Hubble from performing any observational tasks.
Of course, the telescope is still equipped with redundancy systems for any computer hardware (for memory alone, it even has a spare for the backup). But booting to the replacement spare hardware all resulted in similar errors, suggesting that the problem was not with the memory or the processing hardware but with the hardware supporting the entire system. All attention is now on the power supply system for Hubble.
NASA said: ” After a series of tests lasting several days, including restarting and reconfiguring the operating and backup computers, were unsuccessful, but information gathered from the This activity helped the Hubble team determine that the most likely cause of the problem lies with the power management unit PCU .”
This unit ensures a continuous supply of 5V to the computer and memory. In addition, it has a protection circuit that monitors the current leaving the regulator and going to the computer. If the voltage level is lower or exceeded, this protection circuit will ask the operating computer to stop working. NASA believes that the PCU failed in one of these two functions and caused problems with the Hubble telescope.
On Thursday, NASA said it had begun the process of switching to a spare to replace the faulty PCU. This process involves forcing every component to exchange data with the operating computer to navigate to the backup generator.
As a result, NASA succeeded. The operating computer has reconnected and downloaded the necessary software for normal operations. NASA said it is still monitoring the performance of the operating computer while bringing various scientific instruments out of Safe Mode. If everything goes as planned, the instruments will be recalibrated tomorrow and space observations can begin again when everything is complete.
Refer to ArsTechnica
Source : Genk