July 11, 2021 00:36 GMT
The computer coordinates and controls the various instruments of the telescope and also monitors it for technical problems.
The US space agency successfully completed a procedural test this week, necessary to switch to backup hardware at Hubble. The telescope payload computer was manufactured during the 1980s and is responsible for controlling and monitoring all Hubble science instruments.
This payload computer, essential for continuing Hubble science operations, suddenly stopped working on June 13, suspending scientific observations of the telescope.
The source of the problem
At the moment, it is unknown what caused the failure, although it has been determined that the source of the problem is in a piece of ‘hardware’ called Scientific Instruments Command and Data Management Unit (SI C&DH), which formats and sends commands and data to scientific instruments.
To solve the problem, the engineers have made the decision to switch to backup ‘hardware’. For cases like these, the Hubble payload computer has secondary backup ‘hardware’, although the procedure for changing it it’s not easy, because it requires turning off other parts.
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