We will be baking out the MEGS CCDs this week starting Monday, March 12, 2012 at about 1400 UT. This will mean no science data from MEGS-A and MEGS-B during the warmup, bakeout, and recovery sometime Wednesday, March 14. ESP is not affected by the bakeout and will continue to produce science data.
Bakeouts are a normal and essential part of maintaining the accuracy and sensitivity of an on-orbit spectrometer. Even small amounts of contamination sitting on the chip can reduce the measured solar signal. Heating up the CCDs drives the contaminants off the CCDs and reduces the effect.