Thursday, December 1, 2011

High Winds are Predicted at White Sands

Along with the Santa Ana winds over LA the winds at White Sands are predicted to be very high this evening (>80 mph). Here is the forecast wind pattern at 24,000 ft over the Southwest US for 7 pm MT this evening. If the winds exceed 65 mph for more than 5 minutes the SDO antennas will be stowed (pointed up and turned off). There will be no science data if the antennas are stowed.

Update 12/2/2011: The winds were quite high last night (gusts to 70 mph) and the antennas were braked several times but never stowed. Along with the high winds came large gusts that moved the antennas off the spacecraft. That means we had some data loss over night. Winds are predicted to be high today and tonight, although maybe not as high as last night.