The Global Precipitation Measurement mission's Core Observatory began its final Comprehensive Performance Test at Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Dec. 9, 2013. The test will run 24/7 over the next few weeks as every system and subsystem is turned on and run through its tasks.
This is the first time all the Core Observatory systems have been powered on since its shipment to Japan. The results of the tests will be compared to pre-shipment performance test results to ensure than no problems have arisen due to transit, and that the spacecraft is prepared for on-orbit operations.
GPM's Core Observatory has more than 30 systems and subsystems that are being tested. Almost all the systems have fully redundant electronics in case of a failure on-orbit, so each test has to be run more than once. The engineering team for each system monitors the progress around the clock in the control room outside the clean room at Tanegashima Space Center.