Vice President George Bush talks to the STS-6 astronauts from the spacecraft communicators (CAPCOM) console in the mission operations control room (MOCR) of JSC's mission control center. Astronauts Bryan D. O'Connor, second left and Roy D. Bridges, center, are the on-duty CAPCOMS. Standing near the console are (left) JSC Director Gerald D. Griffin and NASA Administrator James Beggs. Eugene F. Kranz, Director of Mission Operations, is at the back console near the glass.
Herein, the term mission control will be taken quite broadly to include both ground and space based operations as well as the information infrastructure necessary to support such operations. Three major technology areas related to advanced mission control are examined: (1) Intelligent Assistance for Ground-Based Mission Controllers and Space-Based Crews; (2) Autonomous Onboard Monitoring, Control and Fault Detection Isolation and Reconfiguration; and (3) Dynamic Corporate Memory Acquired, Maintained, and Utilized During the Entire Vehicle Life Cycle. The current state of the art space operations are surveyed both within NASA and externally for each of the three technology areas and major objectives are discussed from a user point of view for technology development. Ongoing NASA and other governmental programs are described. An analysis of major research issues and current holes in the program are provided. Several recommendations are presented for enhancing the technology development and insertion process to create advanced mission control environments.
Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) activities during STS-2 mission. President Ronald Reagan and Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., look toward the orbiter spotter on the projection plotter at the front of the MOCR. Also present are Astronaut Daniel C. Brandenstein, seated left, and NASA Administrator James M. Beggs standing left of center. In the foreground, Dr. Hans Mark, Deputy NASA Administrator, briefs Michael Deaver, Special Assistant to President Reagan (39504); President Reagan speaks to the STS-2 crew during the second day of their mission. On hand in MOCR were NASA Administrator James M. Beggs and Deputy Administrator Hans Mark (standing behind the president but mostly out of frame) and Dr. Kraft on the right. Eugene F. Kranz, Deputy Director of Flight Operations can be seen in the background seated at the Flight Operations Directorate (FOD) console. Also present is Astronaut Daniel C. Brandenstein, seated left, who turned the communications over to Mr. Reagan (39505).
Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) activities during STS-2 mission. President Ronald Reagan is briefed by Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., JSC Director, who points toward the orbiter spotter on the projection plotter at the front of the MOCR (39499); President Reagan joking with STS-2 astronauts during space to ground conversation (39500); Mission Specialist/Astronaut Sally K. Ride communicates with the STS-2 crew from the spacecraft communicator console (39501); Charles R. Lewis, bronze team Flight Director, monitors activity from the STS-2 crew. He is seated at the flight director console in MOCR (39502); Eugene F. Kranz, Deputy Director of Flight Operations at JSC answers a question during a press conference on Nov. 13, 1981. He is flanked by Glynn S. Lunney, Manager, Space Shuttle Program Office, JSC; and Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Director of JSC (39503).
Montgomery, Patty; Reeves, A. Scott
The Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) is a multi-project facility that is responsible for 24x7 real-time International Space Station (ISS) payload operations management, integration, and control and has the capability to support small satellite projects and will provide real-time support for SLS launches. The HOSC is a service-oriented/ highly available operations center for ISS payloads-directly supporting science teams across the world responsible for the payloads. The HOSC is required to endure an annual 2-day power outage event for facility preventive maintenance and safety inspection of the core electro-mechanical systems. While complete system shut-downs are against the grain of a highly available sub-system, the entire facility must be powered down for a weekend for environmental and safety purposes. The consequence of this ground system outage is far reaching: any science performed on ISS during this outage weekend is lost. Engineering efforts were focused to maximize the ISS investment by engineering a suitable solution capable of continuing HOSC services while supporting safety requirements. The HOSC Power Outage Contingency (HPOC) System is a physically diversified compliment of systems capable of providing identified real-time services for the duration of a planned power outage condition from an alternate control room. HPOC was designed to maintain ISS payload operations for approximately three continuous days during planned HOSC power outages and support a local Payload Operations Team, International Partners, as well as remote users from the alternate control room located in another building.
Kitts, Christopher; Rasay, Mike
For more than a decade, Santa Clara University's Robotic Systems Laboratory has operated a unique, distributed, internet-based command and control network for providing professional satellite mission control services for a variety of government and industry space missions. The system has been developed and is operated by students who become critical members of the mission teams throughout the development, test, and on-orbit phases of these missions. The mission control system also supports research in satellite control technology and hands-on student aerospace education. This system serves as a benchmark for its comprehensive nature, its student-centric nature, its ability to support NASA and industry space missions, and its longevity in providing a consistent level of professional services. This paper highlights the unique features of this program, reviews the network's design and the supported spacecraft missions, and describes the critical programmatic features of the program that support the control of professional space missions.
Hooke, A.; Heuser, W. R.
An 'open specification' for Space Project Mission Operations Control Architectures is under development in the Spacecraft Control Working Group of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astro- nautics. This architecture identifies 5 basic elements incorporated in the design of similar operations systems: Data, System Management, Control Interface, Decision Support Engine, & Space Messaging Service.
Lockwood, H. E.
A dye fading test of 40 days duration was conducted to determine the effect of mission control operator console and ambient lighting effects on a series of photographic products under consideration for use in mission console operator consoles. Six different display samples, each containing 36 windows of several different colors, were prepared and placed in the mission control consoles for testing. No significant changes were recorded during the testing period. All changes were attributed to a mechanical problem with the densitometer. Detailed results are given in graphs.
Smalls, James R.; Jones, Cheryl L.; Carrier, Alicia S.
There are several engineering disciplines, such as reliability, supportability, quality assurance, human factors, risk management, safety, etc. Safety is an extremely important engineering specialty within NASA, and the consequence involving a loss of crew is considered a catastrophic event. Safety is not difficult to achieve when properly integrated at the beginning of each space systems project/start of mission planning. The key is to ensure proper handling of safety verification throughout each flight/mission phase. Today, Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) operations engineers continue to conduct these flight product reviews across all open flight products. As such, these reviews help ensure that each mission is accomplished with safety requirements along with controls heavily embedded in applicable flight products. Most importantly, the S&MA operations engineers are required to look for important design and operations controls so that safety is strictly adhered to as well as reflected in the final flight product.
Welz, Linda L.; Bruno, Kristin J.; Kazz, Sheri L.; Witkowski, Mona M.
Mission Operations and Command Assurance (MO&CA), a recent addition to flight operations teams at JPL. provides a system level function to instill quality in mission operations. MO&CA's primary goal at JPL is to help improve the operational reliability for projects during flight. MO&CA tasks include early detection and correction of process design and procedural deficiencies within projects. Early detection and correction are essential during development of operational procedures and training of operational teams. MO&CA's effort focuses directly on reducing the probability of radiating incorrect commands to a spacecraft. Over the last seven years at JPL, MO&CA has become a valuable asset to JPL flight projects. JPL flight projects have benefited significantly from MO&CA's efforts to contain risk and prevent rather than rework errors. MO&CA's ability to provide direct transfer of knowledge allows new projects to benefit directly from previous and ongoing experience. Since MO&CA, like Total Quality Management (TQM), focuses on continuous improvement of processes and elimination of rework, we recommend that this effort be continued on NASA flight projects.
Williams, Powtawche N.; Gist, Emily M.; Goodson, Troy D.; Hahn, Yungsun; Stumpf, Paul W.; Wagner, Sean V.
The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched in 1997 as an international and collaborative mission to study Saturn and its many moons. After a seven-year cruise, Cassini began orbiting Saturn for a four- year tour. This tour consists of 157 planned maneuvers, and their back-up locations, designed to target 52 encounters, mostly of Saturn's largest moon Titan. One of the mission's first activities was to release the Huygens probe to Titan in December 2004. Currently in its last year of the prime mission, Cassini-Huygens continues to obtain valuable data on Saturn, Titan, and Saturn's other satellites. Return of this information is in large part due to a healthy spacecraft and successful navigation. A two-year extended mission, beginning July 2008, will offer the opportunity to continue science activities. With a demanding navigation schedule that compares with the prime tour, the Cassini Navigation team relies on operations procedures developed during the prime mission to carry-out the extended mission objectives. Current processes for orbit control operations evolved from the primary navigational requirement of staying close to predetermined targeting conditions according to Cassini science sequence planning. The reference trajectory is comprised of flyby conditions to be accomplished at minimal propellant cost. Control of the planned reference trajectory orbit, and any trajectory updates, is achieved with the execution of Orbit Trim Maneuvers (OTMs). The procedures for designing, processing, and analyzing OTMs during Cassini operations is presented. First, a brief overview of the Cassini-Huygens Mission is given, followed by a general description of navigation. Orbit control and maneuver execution methods are defined, along with an outline of the orbit control staffing and operations philosophy. Finally, an example schedule of orbit control operations is shown.
Lucord, Steve; Martinez, Lindolfo
We are entering a new era in space exploration. Reduced operating budgets require innovative solutions to leverage existing systems to implement the capabilities of future missions. Custom solutions to fulfill mission objectives are no longer viable. Can NASA adopt international standards to reduce costs and increase interoperability with other space agencies? Can legacy systems be leveraged in a service oriented architecture (SOA) to further reduce operations costs? The Operations Technology Facility (OTF) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) is collaborating with Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) to answer these very questions. The Mission Operations and Information Management Services Area (MOIMS) Spacecraft Monitor and Control (SM&C) Working Group within the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) is developing the Mission Operations standards to address this problem space. The set of proposed standards presents a service oriented architecture to increase the level of interoperability among space agencies. The OTF and DLR are developing independent implementations of the standards as part of an interoperability prototype. This prototype will address three key components: validation of the SM&C Mission Operations protocol, exploration of the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS), and the incorporation of legacy systems in a SOA. The OTF will implement the service providers described in the SM&C Mission Operation standards to create a portal for interaction with a spacecraft simulator. DLR will implement the service consumers to perform the monitor and control of the spacecraft. The specifications insulate the applications from the underlying transport layer. We will gain experience with a DDS transport layer as we delegate responsibility to the middleware and explore transport bridges to connect disparate middleware products. A SOA facilitates the reuse of software components. The prototype will leverage the
Jones, Cheryl L.; Smalls, James R.; Carrier, Alicia S.
Approximately eleven years ago, the International Space Station launched the first module from Russia, the Functional Cargo Block (FGB). Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) Operations (Ops) Engineers played an integral part in that endeavor by executing strict flight product verification as well as continued staffing of S&MA's console in the Mission Evaluation Room (MER) for that flight mission. How were these engineers able to conduct such a complicated task? They conducted it based on product verification that consisted of ensuring that safety requirements were adequately contained in all flight products that affected crew safety. S&MA Ops engineers apply both systems engineering and project management principles in order to gain a appropriate level of technical knowledge necessary to perform thorough reviews which cover the subsystem(s) affected. They also ensured that mission priorities were carried out with a great detail and success.
Kan, Edwin P.
Mission operations for the Mars Observer (MO) Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were supported by a variety of ground data processing software and analysis tools. Some of these tools were generic to multimission spacecraft mission operations, some were specific to the MO spacecraft, and others were custom tailored to the operation and control of the Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem (AACS). The focus of this paper is on the data analysis tools for the AACS. Four different categories of analysis tools are presented; with details offered for specific tools. Valuable experience was gained from the use of these tools and through their development. These tools formed the backbone and enhanced the efficiency of the AACS Unit in the Mission Operations Spacecraft Team. These same tools, and extensions thereof, have been adopted by the Galileo mission operations, and are being designed into Cassini and other future spacecraft mission operations.
The primary objective of the STS-35 mission was round the clock observation of the celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-Ray astronomy with the Astro-1 observatory which consisted of four telescopes: the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT); the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE); the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT); and the Broad Band X-Ray Telescope (BBXRT). The Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) Spacelab Payload Operations Control Center (SL POCC) at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) was the air/ground communication channel used between the astronauts and ground control teams during the Spacelab missions. Teams of controllers and researchers directed on-orbit science operations, sent commands to the spacecraft, received data from experiments aboard the Space Shuttle, adjusted mission schedules to take advantage of unexpected science opportunities or unexpected results, and worked with crew members to resolve problems with their experiments. Due to loss of data used for pointing and operating the ultraviolet telescopes, MSFC ground teams were forced to aim the telescopes with fine tuning by the flight crew. This photo is an overview of the MSFC Payload Control Room (PCR).
Frank, J.; Spirkovska, L.; McCann, R.; Wang, Lui; Pohlkamp, K.; Morin, L.
NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO) project conducted an empirical investigation of the impact of time delay on today's mission operations, and of the effect of processes and mission support tools designed to mitigate time-delay related impacts. Mission operation scenarios were designed for NASA's Deep Space Habitat (DSH), an analog spacecraft habitat, covering a range of activities including nominal objectives, DSH system failures, and crew medical emergencies. The scenarios were simulated at time delay values representative of Lunar (1.2-5 sec), Near Earth Object (NEO) (50 sec) and Mars (300 sec) missions. Each combination of operational scenario and time delay was tested in a Baseline configuration, designed to reflect present-day operations of the International Space Station, and a Mitigation configuration in which a variety of software tools, information displays, and crew-ground communications protocols were employed to assist both crews and Flight Control Team (FCT) members with the long-delay conditions. Preliminary findings indicate: 1) Workload of both crewmembers and FCT members generally increased along with increasing time delay. 2) Advanced procedure execution viewers, caution and warning tools, and communications protocols such as text messaging decreased the workload of both flight controllers and crew, and decreased the difficulty of coordinating activities. 3) Whereas crew workload ratings increased between 50 sec and 300 sec of time delay in the Baseline configuration, workload ratings decreased (or remained flat) in the Mitigation configuration.
Scarffe, V. A.
NASA is focusing on small, low-cost spacecraft for both planetary and earth science missions. Deep Space 1 (DS1) was the first mission to be launched by the NMP. The New Millennium Project (NMP) is designed to develop and test new technology that can be used on future science missions with lower cost and risk. The NMP is finding ways to reduce cost not only in development, but also in operations. DS 1 was approved for an extended mission, but the budget was not large, so the project began looking into part time team members shared with other projects. DS1 launched on October 24, 1998, in it's primary mission it successfully tested twelve new technologies. The extended mission started September 18, 1999 and ran through the encounter with Comet Borrelly on September 22,2001. The Flight Control Team (FCT) was one team that needed to use part time or multi mission people. Circumstances led to a situation where for the few months before the Borrelly encounter in September of 2001 DSl had no certified full time Flight Control Engineers also known as Aces. This paper examines how DS 1 utilized cross-project support including the communication between different projects, and the how the tools used by the Flight Control Engineer fit into cross-project support.
Frank, Jeremy David
As light time delays increase, the number of such situations in which crew autonomy is the best way to conduct the mission is expected to increase. However, there are significant open questions regarding which functions to allocate to ground and crew as the time delays increase. In situations where the ideal solution is to allocate responsibility to the crew and the vehicle, a second question arises: should the activity be the responsibility of the crew or an automated vehicle function? More specifically, we must answer the following questions: What aspects of mission operation responsibilities (Plan, Train, Fly) should be allocated to ground based or vehicle based planning, monitoring, and control in the presence of significant light-time delay between the vehicle and the Earth?How should the allocated ground based planning, monitoring, and control be distributed across the flight control team and ground system automation? How should the allocated vehicle based planning, monitoring, and control be distributed between the flight crew and onboard system automation?When during the mission should responsibility shift from flight control team to crew or from crew to vehicle, and what should the process of shifting responsibility be as the mission progresses? NASA is developing a roadmap of capabilities for Autonomous Mission Operations for human spaceflight. This presentation will describe the current state of development of this roadmap, with specific attention to in-space inspection tasks that crews might perform with minimum assistance from the ground.
Stoffel, A. William
The Intelligent Command and Control (ICC) System research project is intended to provide the technology base necessary for producing an intelligent automated command and control (C&C) system capable of performing all the ground control C&C functions currently performed by Mission Operations Center (MOC) project Flight Operations Team (FOT). The ICC research accomplishments to date, details of the ICC, and the planned outcome of the ICC research, mentioned above, are discussed in detail.
Snyder, W. J.; Christensen, J. V.
Operational efficiency and mission reliability are key capabilities which will impact the future use of helicopters in the civil segment and areas where flight control/avionics research can play a major role. The present paper reviews flight control/avionics system needs for each major area of civil helicopter use. Technology requirements to meet civil needs are discussed. The review points up the need for the development of all-weather flight control concepts and the validation of cost effective active control/fly-by-wire/fly-by-light system concepts with modular architecture which can be tailored to specific mission requirements.
Rocco, David A.
Redefining the approach and philosophy that operations management uses to define, develop, and implement space missions will be a central element in achieving high efficiency mission operations for the future. The goal of a cost effective space operations program cannot be realized if the attitudes and methodologies we currently employ to plan, develop, and manage space missions do not change. A management philosophy that is in synch with the environment in terms of budget, technology, and science objectives must be developed. Changing our basic perception of mission operations will require a shift in the way we view the mission. This requires a transition from current practices of viewing the mission as a unique end product, to a 'mission development concept' built on the visualization of the end-to-end mission. To achieve this change we must define realistic mission success criteria and develop pragmatic approaches to achieve our goals. Custom mission development for all but the largest and most unique programs is not practical in the current budget environment, and we simply do not have the resources to implement all of our planned science programs. We need to shift our management focus to allow us the opportunity make use of methodologies and approaches which are based on common building blocks that can be utilized in the space, ground, and mission unique segments of all missions.
Hans Mark, NASA Deputy Administrator, and Daniel M. Germany, Assistant Manager, Orbiter Project Office, monitor activity from STS-5 in the mission operations control room (MOCR) of JSC's mission control center. Arnold D. Aldrich, Manager of the Orbiter Project Office, can be seen at left background (27153); Gerald D. Griffin, JSC Director, stands near the flight director console in the MOCR. Astronaut Robert L. Stewart, STS-5 spacecraft communicator, mans the CAPCOM console at left. Others in the background include M.P. Frank, Chief of the Flight Operations Integration Office (back row); Eugene F. Kranz, Deputy Director of Flight Operations; Tommy W. Holloway, flight director (right of Griffin) (27154); Flight directors during STS-5 posed at the flight directors console are from left to right: Lawrence S. Bourgeois, Brock R. Stone, Jay H. Greene, Tommy W. Holloway, John T. Cox and Gary E. Coen. Other flight controllers are pictured in the background of the MOCR (27155).
Carvalho, Robert; Mazmanian, Edward A.
Pursuing the Mysteries of the Sun: The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Mission. Flight controllers from the IRIS mission will present their individual experiences on IRIS from development through the first year of flight. This will begin with a discussion of the unique nature of IRISs mission and science, and how it fits into NASA's fleet of solar observatories. Next will be a discussion of the critical roles Ames contributed in the mission including spacecraft and flight software development, ground system development, and training for launch. This will be followed by experiences from launch, early operations, ongoing operations, and unusual operations experiences. The presentation will close with IRIS science imagery and questions.
The presentations given at the Low Cost (Space) Mission Operations (LCMO) Workshop are outlined. The LCMO concepts are covered in four introductory sections: Definition of Mission Operations (OPS); Mission Operations (MOS) Elements; The Operations Concept; and Mission Operations for Two Classes of Missions (operationally simple and complex). Individual presentations cover the following topics: Science Data Processing and Analysis; Mis sion Design, Planning, and Sequencing; Data Transport and Delivery, and Mission Coordination and Engineering Analysis. A list of panelists who participated in the conference is included along with a listing of the contact persons for obtaining more information concerning LCMO at JPL. The presentation of this document is in outline and graphic form.
SPOT sun-synchronous remote sensing satellites are operated by CNES since February 1986. Today, the SPOT mission and control center (CCM) operates SPOT1, SPOT2, and is ready to operate SPOT3. During these seven years, the way to operate changed and the CCM, initially designed for the control of one satellite, has been modified and upgraded to support these new operating modes. All these events have shown the performances and the limits of the system. A new generation of satellite (SPOT4) will continue the remote sensing mission during the second half of the 90's. Its design takes into account the experience of the first generation and supports several improvements. A new generation of control center (CMP) has been developed and improves the efficiency, quality, and reliability of the operations. The CMP is designed for operating two satellites at the same time during launching, in-orbit testing, and operating phases. It supports several automatic procedures and improves data retrieval and reporting.
Clement, James L.; Ritsher, Jennifer Boyd; Saylor, Stephanie A.; Kanas, Nick
The International Space Station (ISS) is operated by a multi-national, multi-organizational team that is dispersed across multiple locations, time zones, and work schedules. At NASA, both junior and senior mission control personnel have had to find ways to address the leadership challenges inherent in such work, but neither have had systematic training in how to do so. The goals of this study were to examine the major leadership challenges faced by ISS mission control personnel and to highlight the approaches that they have found most effective to surmount them. We pay particular attention to the approaches successfully employed by the senior personnel and to the training needs identified by the junior personnel. We also evaluate the extent to which responses are consistent across the junior and senior samples. Further, we compare the issues identified by our interview survey to those identified by a standardized questionnaire survey of mission control personnel and a contrasting group of space station crewmembers. We studied a sample of 14 senior ISS flight controllers and a contrasting sample of 12 more junior ISS controllers. Data were collected using a semi-structured qualitative interview and content analyzed using an iterative process with multiple coders and consensus meetings to resolve discrepancies. To further explore the meaning of the interview findings, we also conducted new analyses of data from a previous questionnaire study of 13 American astronauts, 17 Russian cosmonauts, and 150 U.S. and 36 Russian mission control personnel supporting the ISS or Mir space stations. The interview data showed that the survey respondents had substantial consensus on several leadership challenges and on key strategies for dealing with them, and they offered a wide range of specific tactics for implementing these strategies. Interview data from the junior respondents will be presented for the first time at the meeting. The questionnaire data showed that the US mission
This photograph shows activities during the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-1) mission (STS-42) in the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Members of the Fluid Experiment System (FES) group monitor the progress of their experiment through video at the POCC. The IML-1 mission was the first in a series of Shuttle flights dedicated to fundamental materials and life sciences research. The mission was to explore, in depth, the complex effects of weightlessness on living organisms and materials processing. The crew conducted experiments on the human nervous system's adaptation to low gravity and the effects on other life forms such as shrimp eggs, lentil seedlings, fruit fly eggs, and bacteria. Low gravity materials processing experiments included crystal growth from a variety of substances such as enzymes, mercury, iodine, and virus. The International space science research organizations that participated in this mission were: The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administion, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the French National Center for Space Studies, the German Space Agency, and the National Space Development Agency of Japan. The POCC was the air/ground communication charnel used between astronauts aboard the Spacelab and scientists, researchers, and ground control teams during the Spacelab missions. The facility made instantaneous video and audio communications possible for scientists on the ground to follow the progress and to send direct commands of their research almost as if they were in space with the crew.
This photograph shows activities during the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-1) mission (STS-42) in the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The IML-1 mission was the first in a series of Shuttle flights dedicated to fundamental materials and life sciences research. The mission was to explore, in depth, the complex effects of weightlessness on living organisms and materials processing. The crew conducted experiments on the human nervous system's adaptation to low gravity and the effects on other life forms such as shrimp eggs, lentil seedlings, fruit fly eggs, and bacteria. Low gravity materials processing experiments included crystal growth from a variety of substances such as enzymes, mercury, iodine, and virus. The International space science research organizations that participated in this mission were: The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the French National Center for Space Studies, the German Space Agency, and the National Space Development Agency of Japan. The POCC was the air/ground communication charnel used between the astronauts aboard the Spacelab and scientists, researchers, and ground control teams during the Spacelab missions. The facility made instantaneous video and audio communications possible for scientists on the ground to follow the progress and to send direct commands of their research almost as if they were in space with the crew.
Squibb, Gael F.
This paper will discuss the concept of developing a space mission operations concept; the benefits of starting this system engineering task early; the neccessary inputs to the process; and the products that are generated.
Integrate the mission operations assurance function into the flight team providing: (1) value added support in identifying, mitigating, and communicating the project's risks and, (2) being an essential member of the team during the test activities, training exercises and critical flight operations.
The group of Japanese researchers of the Spacelab-J (SL-J) were thumbs-up in the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at the Marshall Space Flight Center after the successful launch of Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour that carried their experiments. The SL-J was a joint mission of NASA and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) utilizing a marned Spacelab module. The mission conducted microgravity investigations in materials and life sciences. Materials science investigations covered such fields as biotechnology, electronic materials, fluid dynamics and transport phenomena, glasses and ceramics, metals and alloys, and acceleration measurements. Life sciences included experiments on human health, cell separation and biology, developmental biology, animal and human physiology and behavior, space radiation, and biological rhythms. Test subjects included the crew, Japanese koi fish (carp), cultured animal and plant cells, chicken embryos, fruit flies, fungi and plant seeds, frogs, and frog eggs. The POCC was the air/ground communications channel between the astronauts and ground control teams during the Spacelab missions. The Spacelab science operations were a cooperative effort between the science astronaut crew in orbit and their colleagues in the POCC. Spacelab-J was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour on September 12, 1992.
Accomazzo, Andrea; Lodiot, Sylvain; Companys, Vicente
The International Rosetta Mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 year journey to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and has reached it early August 2014. The main mission objectives were to perform close observations of the comet nucleus throughout its orbit around the Sun and deliver the lander Philae to its surface. This paper describers the activities at mission operations level that allowed the landing of Philae. The landing preparation phase was mainly characterised by the definition of the landing selection process, to which several parties contributed, and by the definition of the strategy for comet characterisation, the orbital strategy for lander delivery, and the definition and validation of the operations timeline. The definition of the landing site selection process involved almost all components of the mission team; Rosetta has been the first, and so far only mission, that could not rely on data collected by previous missions for the landing site selection. This forced the teams to include an intensive observation campaign as a mandatory part of the process; several science teams actively contributed to this campaign thus making results from science observations part of the mandatory operational products. The time allocated to the comet characterisation phase was in the order of a few weeks and all the processes, tools, and interfaces required an extensive planning an validation. Being the descent of Philae purely ballistic, the main driver for the orbital strategy was the capability to accurately control the position and velocity of Rosetta at Philae's separation. The resulting operations timeline had to merge this need of frequent orbit determination and control with the complexity of the ground segment and the inherent risk of problems when doing critical activities in short times. This paper describes the contribution of the Mission Control Centre (MOC) at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) to this
The Ulysses mission is described in terms of in-Shuttle operations, initial in-orbit operations, routine operations, operational organization, and data gathering and production. The configuration of the Ulysses payload is illustrated, and the flight to orbit is described including a three-hour on-orbit checkout. The first contact was reported at the Deep Space Network station followed by an adjustment of the spacecraft solar-aspect angle and the acquisition of ranging and Doppler data. In-orbit operations include the earth acquisition maneuver, a trajectory correction maneuver, and a payload switch. Continuous data gathering is discussed with reference to the Jupiter encounter and the first and second oppositions and conjunctions. The data-gathering components comprise ground stations, a data-processing computer, and a data-records system. Data production is performed in an off-line mode that does not interfere with the real-time operations.
Dittermore, Gary; Bertels, Christie
Operations of human spaceflight systems is extremely complex; therefore, the training and certification of operations personnel is a critical piece of ensuring mission success. Mission Control Center (MCC-H), at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, manages mission operations for the Space Shuttle Program, including the training and certification of the astronauts and flight control teams. An overview of a flight control team s makeup and responsibilities during a flight, and details on how those teams are trained and certified, reveals that while the training methodology for developing flight controllers has evolved significantly over the last thirty years the core goals and competencies have remained the same. In addition, the facilities and tools used in the control center have evolved. Changes in methodology and tools have been driven by many factors, including lessons learned, technology, shuttle accidents, shifts in risk posture, and generational differences. Flight controllers share their experiences in training and operating the space shuttle. The primary training method throughout the program has been mission simulations of the orbit, ascent, and entry phases, to truly train like you fly. A review of lessons learned from flight controller training suggests how they could be applied to future human spaceflight endeavors, including missions to the moon or to Mars. The lessons learned from operating the space shuttle for over thirty years will help the space industry build the next human transport space vehicle.
Snow, Frank; Garrard, Thomas L.; Steck, Jane A.; Maury, Jesse L.
In relation to the mandate to reduce space mission development and operations costs, the advanced composition explorer (ACE) will use a version of the Transportable Payload Operations Control Center (TPOCC) for its mission operations. It was determined during the phase B of the ACE project that a potential existed for substantial savings if the adaptation of the TPOCC for the ACE mission operations could include its adaptation for use as the primary component in the ground support equipment for the integration and testing of the ACE spacecraft, and for use as the basic component in the ACE science center. The implementation of this approach required the enhancement of the TPOCC requirements, changes in the development schedule and changes in the allocation and activities of the personnel responsible for the development of ACE operations. It is discussed how these issues, and the problems that arose, were addressed.
Prickett, W. Z.; Spera, R. J.
Mission operations are presented for comet rendezvous and outer planet exploration missions conducted by unmanned Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) system employing in-core thermionic reactors for electric power generation. The selected reference mission are Comet Halley rendezvous and a Jupiter orbiter at 5.9 planet radii, the orbit of the moon Io. Mission operations and options are defined from spacecraft assembly through mission completion. Pre-launch operations and related GSE requirements are identified. Shuttle launch and subsequent injection to earth escape by the Centaur d-1T are discussed, as well as power plant startup and heliocentric mission phases.
Littman, Dave; Parksinson, Lou
The mission description Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES): I) Collect and disseminate worldwide meteorological and environmental data: a) Provide day and night information (AVHRR): 1) cloud cover distribution and type; 2) cloud top temperature; 3) Moisture patterns and ice/snow melt. b) Provide vertical temperature and moisture profiles of atmospheres (HIRS, AMSU, MHS. c) Measure global ozone distribution and solar UV radiation (SBUV). d) Measure proton, electro, and charged particle density to provide solar storm warnings (SEM). d) Collect environmental data (DCS): 1) Stationary platforms in remote locations; 2) Free floating platforms on buoys, balloons, migratory animals. II) Provide Search and Rescue capabilities (SARR, SARP): a) Detection and relay of distress signals. b) Has saved thousands of lives around the world.
Dittemore, Gary D.; Bertels, Christie
This paper will summarize the thirty-year history of Space Shuttle operations from the perspective of training in NASA Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center. It will focus on training and development of flight controllers and instructors, and how training practices have evolved over the years as flight experience was gained, new technologies developed, and programmatic needs changed. Operations of human spaceflight systems is extremely complex, therefore the training and certification of operations personnel is a critical piece of ensuring mission success. Mission Control Center (MCC-H), at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas manages mission operations for the Space Shuttle Program, including the training and certification of the astronauts and flight control teams. This paper will give an overview of a flight control team s makeup and responsibilities during a flight, and details on how those teams are trained and certified. The training methodology for developing flight controllers has evolved significantly over the last thirty years, while the core goals and competencies have remained the same. In addition, the facilities and tools used in the control center have evolved. These changes have been driven by many factors including lessons learned, technology, shuttle accidents, shifts in risk posture, and generational differences. Flight controllers will share their experiences in training and operating the Space Shuttle throughout the Program s history. A primary method used for training Space Shuttle flight control teams is by running mission simulations of the orbit, ascent, and entry phases, to truly "train like you fly." The audience will learn what it is like to perform a simulation as a shuttle flight controller. Finally, we will reflect on the lessons learned in training for the shuttle program, and how those could be applied to future human spaceflight endeavors.
Moore, Mike; Fox, Jeffrey
Spacecraft management is becoming more human intensive as spacecraft become more complex and as operations costs are growing accordingly. Several automation approaches have been proposed to lower these costs. However, most of these approaches are not flexible enough in the operations processes and levels of automation that they support. This paper presents a concept called the Virtual Mission Operations Center (VMOC) that provides highly flexible support for dynamic spacecraft management processes and automation. In a VMOC, operations personnel can be shared among missions, the operations team can change personnel and their locations, and automation can be added and removed as appropriate. The VMOC employs a form of on-demand supervisory control called management by exception to free operators from having to actively monitor their system. The VMOC extends management by exception, however, so that distributed, dynamic teams can work together. The VMOC uses work-group computing concepts and groupware tools to provide a team infrastructure, and it employs user agents to allow operators to define and control system automation.
This dissertation introduces a multidisciplinary framework for the enabling of future research and analysis of alternatives for control centers for real-time operations of safety-critical systems. The multidisciplinary framework integrates functional and computational models that describe the dynamics in fundamental concepts of previously disparate engineering and psychology research disciplines, such as group performance and processes, supervisory control, situation awareness, events and delays, and expertise. The application in this dissertation is the real-time operations within the NASA Mission Control Center in Houston, TX. This dissertation operationalizes the framework into a model and simulation, which simulates the functional and computational models in the framework according to user-configured scenarios for a NASA human-spaceflight mission. The model and simulation generates data according to the effectiveness of the mission-control team in supporting the completion of mission objectives and detecting, isolating, and recovering from anomalies. Accompanying the multidisciplinary framework is a proof of concept, which demonstrates the feasibility of such a framework. The proof of concept demonstrates that variability occurs where expected based on the models. The proof of concept also demonstrates that the data generated from the model and simulation is useful for analyzing and comparing MCC configuration alternatives because an investigator can give a diverse set of scenarios to the simulation and the output compared in detail to inform decisions about the effect of MCC configurations on mission operations performance.
Communication Ocean Meteorological Satellite (COMS) for the hybrid mission of meteorological observation, ocean monitoring, and telecommunication service was launched onto Geostationary Earth Orbit on June 27, 2010 and it is currently under normal operation service since April 2011. The COMS is located on 128.2° East of the geostationary orbit. In order to perform the three missions, the COMS has 3 separate payloads, the meteorological imager (MI), the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI), and the Ka-band antenna. Each payload is dedicated to one of the three missions, respectively. The MI and GOCI perform the Earth observation mission of meteorological observation and ocean monitoring, respectively. For this Earth observation mission the COMS requires daily mission commands from the satellite control ground station and daily mission is affected by the satellite control activities. For this reason daily mission planning is required. The Earth observation mission operation of COMS is described in aspects of mission operation characteristics and mission planning for the normal operation services of meteorological observation and ocean monitoring. And the first year normal operation results after the In-Orbit-Test (IOT) are investigated through statistical approach to provide the achieved COMS normal operation status for the Earth observation mission.
This photo is an overall view of the Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia during the Expedition Seven mission. The Expedition Seven crew launched aboard a Soyez spacecraft on April 26, 2003. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Jackson, Dan E., Jr.
The planetary exploration programs demand a totally new examination of data multiplexing, digital communications protocols and data transmission principles for both ground and spacecraft operations. Highly adaptive communications devices on-board and on the ground must provide the greatest possible transmitted data density between deployed crew personnel, spacecraft and ground control teams. Regarding these requirements, this proposal borrows from research into quantum mechanical computing by applying the concept of a qubit, a single bit that represents 16 states, to radio frequency (RF) communications link design for exploration programs. This concept of placing multiple character values into a single data bit can easily make the evolutionary steps needed to meet exploration mission demands. To move the qubit from the quantum mechanical research laboratory into long distance RF data transmission, this proposal utilizes polarization modulation of the RF carrier signal to represent numbers from zero to fifteen. It introduces the concept of a binary-to-hexadecimal converter that quickly chops any data stream into 16-bit words and connects variously polarized feedhorns to a single-frequency radio transmitter. Further, the concept relies on development of a receiver that uses low-noise amplifiers and an antenna array to quickly assess carrier polarity and perform hexadecimal to binary conversion. Early testbed experiments using the International Space Station (ISS) as an operations laboratory can be implemented to provide the most cost-effective return for research investment. The improvement in signal-to-noise ratio while supporting greater baseband data rates that could be achieved through this concept justifies its consideration for long-distance exploration programs.
Dittemore, Gary D.
Operations of human spaceflight systems is extremely complex, therefore the training and certification of operations personnel is a critical piece of ensuring mission success. Mission Control Center (MCC-H), at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas manages mission operations for the Space Shuttle Program, including the training and certification of the astronauts and flight control teams. This paper will give an overview of a flight control team s makeup and responsibilities during a flight, and details on how those teams are trained and certified. The training methodology for developing flight controllers has evolved significantly over the last thirty years, while the core goals and competencies have remained the same. In addition, the facilities and tools used in the control center have evolved. These changes have been driven by many factors including lessons learned, technology, shuttle accidents, shifts in risk posture, and generational differences. Flight controllers will share their experiences in training and operating the Space Shuttle throughout the Program s history. A primary method used for training Space Shuttle flight control teams is by running mission simulations of the orbit, ascent, and entry phases, to truly "train like you fly." The reader will learn what it is like to perform a simulation as a shuttle flight controller. Finally, the paper will reflect on the lessons learned in training for the shuttle program, and how those could be applied to future human spaceflight endeavors. These endeavors could range from going to the moon or to Mars. The lessons learned from operating the space shuttle for over thirty years will help the space industry build the next human transport space vehicle and inspire the next generation of space explorers.
Wall, S. D.; Ledbetter, K. W.
The mission operations system is one of the more significant drivers of the cost of the mission operations and data analysis segment of missions. In large or long-lived projects, the MOS can also be a driver in total mission cost. Larger numbers of missions, together with an increasingly cost-conscious environment, dictate that future missions must more strictly control costs as they perform to their requirements. It is therefore prudent to examine the conduct of past missions for ways to conserve resources. In this paper we review inputs made to past projects' 'lessons-learned' activities, in which personnel from past projects (among other things) identified major cost drivers of MOS's and considered how economies were or might have been realized in both design and performance of their MOS. Common themes among four such reviews are summarized in an attempt to provide suggestions for cost reduction in future missions.
Dittemore, Gary D.; Bertels, Christie
Operations of human spaceflight systems is extremely complex, therefore the training and certification of operations personnel is a critical piece of ensuring mission success. Mission Control Center (MCC-H), at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas manages mission operations for the Space Shuttle Program, including the training and certification of the astronauts and flight control teams. As the space shuttle program ends in 2011, a review of how training for STS-1 was conducted compared to STS-134 will show multiple changes in training of shuttle flight controller over a thirty year period. This paper will additionally give an overview of a flight control team s makeup and responsibilities during a flight, and details on how those teams have been trained certified over the life span of the space shuttle. The training methods for developing flight controllers have evolved significantly over the last thirty years, while the core goals and competencies have remained the same. In addition, the facilities and tools used in the control center have evolved. These changes have been driven by many factors including lessons learned, technology, shuttle accidents, shifts in risk posture, and generational differences. A primary method used for training Space Shuttle flight control teams is by running mission simulations of the orbit, ascent, and entry phases, to truly "train like you fly." The reader will learn what it is like to perform a simulation as a shuttle flight controller. Finally, the paper will reflect on the lessons learned in training for the shuttle program, and how those could be applied to future human spaceflight endeavors.
This manual prescribes the NASA mission management aircraft program and provides policies and criteria for the safe and economical operation, maintenance, and inspection of NASA mission management aircraft. The operation of NASA mission management aircraft is based on the concept that safety has the highest priority. Operations involving unwarranted risks will not be tolerated. NASA mission management aircraft will be designated by the Associate Administrator for Management Systems and Facilities. NASA mission management aircraft are public aircraft as defined by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. Maintenance standards, as a minimum, will meet those required for retention of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness certification. Federal Aviation Regulation Part 91, Subparts A and B, will apply except when requirements of this manual are more restrictive.
NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean interviews Jeff Mauldin, Simulation Supervisor for Autonomous Mission Operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Ask us on Twitter @NASA_Johnson a...
The 110th bouquet of roses arrived in Mission Control on Saturday, July 9, 2011. They were sent as quietly as they have been for more than 23 years by a family near Dallas, Texas. For 110 shuttle m...
Osler, S. J.
An overview is provided of mission operations for Astronomy Spacelab Payloads. Missions considered are related to solar physics, high energy astrophysics, and stellar ultraviolet/optical astronomy. Operational aspects are examined. Mission operations include the flight activities and associated ground support work for implementing the mission. The prelaunch activity will begin about a year before launch with the assignment of a mission operations manager.
Kurzhals, P. R.
As part of its preparation for the operational Shuttle era, the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is currently replacing most of the mission operations computing complexes that have supported near-earth space missions since the late 1960's. Major associated systems include the Metric Data Facility (MDF) which preprocesses, stores, and forwards all near-earth satellite tracking data; the Orbit Computation System (OCS) which determines related production orbit and attitude information; the Flight Dynamics System (FDS) which formulates spacecraft attitude and orbit maneuvers; and the Command Management System (CMS) which handles mission planning, scheduling, and command generation and integration. Management issues and experiences for the resultant replacement process are driven by a wide range of possible future mission requirements, flight-critical system aspects, complex internal system interfaces, extensive existing applications software, and phasing to optimize systems evolution.
The overall NASA Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) program consists of a series of chemical releases from the PEGSAT spacecraft, the CRRES spacecraft and sounding rockets. The first chemical releases were made from the PEGSAT spacecraft in April, 1990 over northern Canada. In addition to the releases planned from the CRRES spacecraft there are releases from sounding rockets planned from the Kwajalein rocket range in July and August, 1990 and from Puerto Rico in June and July, 1991. It shows the major milestones in the overall CRRES program. This Mission Operations Report only describes the NASA mission objectives of the CRRES/Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) mission.
Bell, Ernest R.; Badillo, Victor; Coan, David; Johnson, Kieth; Ney, Zane; Rosenbaum, Megan; Smart, Tifanie; Stone, Jeffry; Stueber, Ronald; Welsh, Daren; Guirgis, Peggy; Looper, Chris; McDaniel, Randall
The NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is an annual field test of advanced concepts, prototype hardware, and potential modes of operation to be used on human planetary surface space exploration missions. For the 2009 and 2010 NASA Desert RATS field tests, various engineering concepts and operational exercises were incorporated into mission timelines with the focus of the majority of daily operations being on simulated lunar geological field operations and executed in a manner similar to current Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. The field test for 2009 involved a two week lunar exploration simulation utilizing a two-man rover. The 2010 Desert RATS field test took this two week simulation further by incorporating a second two-man rover working in tandem with the 2009 rover, as well as including docked operations with a Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM). Personnel for the field test included the crew, a mission management team, engineering teams, a science team, and the mission operations team. The mission operations team served as the core of the Desert RATS mission control team and included certified NASA Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) flight controllers, former flight controllers, and astronaut personnel. The backgrounds of the flight controllers were in the areas of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), onboard mechanical systems and maintenance, robotics, timeline planning (OpsPlan), and spacecraft communicator (Capcom). With the simulated EVA operations, mechanized operations (the rover), and expectations of replanning, these flight control disciplines were especially well suited for the execution of the 2009 and 2010 Desert RATS field tests. The inclusion of an operations team has provided the added benefit of giving NASA mission operations flight control personnel the opportunity to begin examining operational mission control techniques, team compositions, and mission scenarios. This also gave the mission operations
Cruzen, Craig; Thompson, Jerry Todd
This paper discusses the importance of implementing advanced autonomous technologies supporting operations of future NASA missions. The ability for crewed, uncrewed and even ground support systems to be capable of mission support without external interaction or control has become essential as space exploration moves further out into the solar system. The push to develop and utilize autonomous technologies for NASA mission operations stems in part from the need to reduce operations cost while improving and increasing capability and safety. This paper will provide examples of autonomous technologies currently in use at NASA and will identify opportunities to advance existing autonomous technologies that will enhance mission success by reducing operations cost, ameliorating inefficiencies, and mitigating catastrophic anomalies.
Arnold, Larissa S.; Torney, Susan E.; Rask, John Doug; Bleisath, Scott A.
Planetary surface operations have been studied since the last visit of humans to the Moon, including conducting analog missions. Mission Operations lessons from these activities are summarized. Characteristics of forecasted surface operations are compared to current human mission operations approaches. Considerations for future designs of mission operations are assessed.
Medina, Barbara; Bussman, Marie; Obenschain, Arthur F. (Technical Monitor)
The Virtual Mission Operations Center - Collaborative Environment (VMOC-CE) intent is to have a central access point for all the resources used in a collaborative mission operations environment to assist mission operators in communicating on-site and off-site in the investigation and resolution of anomalies. It is a framework that as a minimum incorporates online chat, realtime file sharing and remote application sharing components in one central location. The use of a collaborative environment in mission operations opens up the possibilities for a central framework for other project members to access and interact with mission operations staff remotely. The goal of the Virtual Mission Operations Center (VMOC) Project is to identify, develop, and infuse technology to enable mission control by on-call personnel in geographically dispersed locations. In order to achieve this goal, the following capabilities are needed: Autonomous mission control systems Automated systems to contact on-call personnel Synthesis and presentation of mission control status and history information Desktop tools for data and situation analysis Secure mechanism for remote collaboration commanding Collaborative environment for remote cooperative work The VMOC-CE is a collaborative environment that facilitates remote cooperative work. It is an application instance of the Virtual System Design Environment (VSDE), developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Systems Engineering Services & Advanced Concepts (SESAC) Branch. The VSDE is a web-based portal that includes a knowledge repository and collaborative environment to serve science and engineering teams in product development. It is a "one stop shop" for product design, providing users real-time access to product development data, engineering and management tools, and relevant design specifications and resources through the Internet. The initial focus of the VSDE has been to serve teams working in the early portion of the system
Jeletic, James F.
The application of computer graphics techniques in NASA space missions is reviewed. Telemetric monitoring of the Space Shuttle and its components is discussed, noting the use of computer graphics for real-time visualization problems in the retrieval and repair of the Solar Maximum Mission. The use of the world map display for determining a spacecraft's location above the earth and the problem of verifying the relative position and orientation of spacecraft to celestial bodies are examined. The Flight Dynamics/STS Three-dimensional Monitoring System and the Trajectroy Computations and Orbital Products System world map display are described, emphasizing Space Shuttle applications. Also, consideration is given to the development of monitoring systems such as the Shuttle Payloads Mission Monitoring System and the Attitude Heads-Up Display and the use of the NASA-Goddard Two-dimensional Graphics Monitoring System during Shuttle missions and to support the Hubble Space Telescope.
White, W. J.
The payloads tentatively planned to fly on the first two Spacelab missions were analyzed to examine the cost relationships of providing mission operations support from onboard vs the ground-based Payload Operations Control Center (POCC). The quantitative results indicate that use of a POCC, with data processing capability, to support real-time mission operations is the most cost effective case.
Surka, Derek M.; Jones, Lori; Crouse, Patrick; Cary, Everett A, Jr.; Esposito, Timothy C.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Space Science Mission Operations (SSMO) Project is currently tackling the challenge of minimizing ground operations costs for multiple satellites that have surpassed their prime mission phase and are well into extended mission. These missions are being reengineered into a multi-mission operations center built around modern information technologies and a common ground system infrastructure. The effort began with the integration of four SMEX missions into a similar architecture that provides command and control capabilities and demonstrates fleet automation and control concepts as a pathfinder for additional mission integrations. The reengineered ground system, called the Multi-Mission Operations Center (MMOC), is now undergoing a transformation to support other SSMO missions, which include SOHO, Wind, and ACE. This paper presents the automation principles and lessons learned to date for integrating automation into an existing operations environment for multiple satellites.
Pell, Barney; Sawyer, Scott R.; Muscettola, Nicola; Smith, Benjamin; Bernard, Douglas E.
The Remote Agent (RA) is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system which automates some of the tasks normally reserved for human mission operators and performs these tasks autonomously on-board the spacecraft. These tasks include activity generation, sequencing, spacecraft analysis, and failure recovery. The RA will be demonstrated as a flight experiment on Deep Space One (DSI), the first deep space mission of the NASA's New Millennium Program (NMP). As we moved from prototyping into actual flight code development and teamed with ground operators, we made several major extensions to the RA architecture to address the broader operational context in which PA would be used. These extensions support ground operators and the RA sharing a long-range mission profile with facilities for asynchronous ground updates; support ground operators monitoring and commanding the spacecraft at multiple levels of detail simultaneously; and enable ground operators to provide additional knowledge to the RA, such as parameter updates, model updates, and diagnostic information, without interfering with the activities of the RA or leaving the system in an inconsistent state. The resulting architecture supports incremental autonomy, in which a basic agent can be delivered early and then used in an increasingly autonomous manner over the lifetime of the mission. It also supports variable autonomy, as it enables ground operators to benefit from autonomy when L'@ey want it, but does not inhibit them from obtaining a detailed understanding and exercising tighter control when necessary. These issues are critical to the successful development and operation of autonomous spacecraft.
Sturms, Francis M., Jr.; Dias, William C.; Nakata, Albert Y.; Tai, Wallace S.
The Mars Pathfinder Project plans a December 1996 launch of a single spacecraft. After jettisoning a cruise stage, an entry body containing a lander and microrover will directly enter the Mars atmosphere and parachute to a hard landing near the sub-solar latitude of 15 degrees North in July 1997. Primary surface operations last for 30 days. Cost estimates for Pathfinder ground systems development and operations are not only lower in absolute dollars, but also are a lower percentage of total project costs than in past planetary missions. Operations teams will be smaller and fewer than typical flight projects. Operations scenarios have been developed early in the project and are being used to guide operations implementation and flight system design. Recovery of key engineering data from entry, descent, and landing is a top mission priority. These data will be recorded for playback after landing. Real-time tracking of a modified carrier signal through this phase can provide important insight into the spacecraft performance during entry, descent, and landing in the event recorded data is never recovered. Surface scenarios are dominated by microrover activity and lander imaging during 7 hours of the Mars day from 0700 to 1400 local solar time. Efficient uplink and downlink processes have been designed to command the lander and microrover each Mars day.
Scott, Charles P.; Kahr, Bolinda E.; Sarrel, Marc A.
This paper explores the how's and why's of the Spitzer Mission Operations System's (MOS) success, efficiency, and affordability in comparison to other observatory-class missions. MOS exploits today's flight, ground, and operations capabilities, embraces automation, and balances both risk and cost. With operational efficiency as the primary goal, MOS maintains a strong control process by translating lessons learned into efficiency improvements, thereby enabling the MOS processes, teams, and procedures to rapidly evolve from concept (through thorough validation) into in-flight implementation. Operational teaming, planning, and execution are designed to enable re-use. Mission changes, unforeseen events, and continuous improvement have often times forced us to learn to fly anew. Collaborative spacecraft operations and remote science and instrument teams have become well integrated, and worked together to improve and optimize each human, machine, and software-system element.
Walker, R.; Hudson, F.; Murphy, L.
A candidate design concept for an LST ground facility is described. The design objectives were to use NASA institutional hardware, software and facilities wherever practical, and to maximize efficiency of telescope use. The pointing control performance requirements of LST are summarized, and the major data interfaces of the candidate ground system are diagrammed.
Galal, Ken; Hogan, Roger P. (Technical Monitor)
The effort of compiling a collection of Best Practices for use in Space Mission Operations was initiated within a subcommittee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Operations and Support Technical Committee (SOSTC). The idea was to eventually post a collection of Best Practices on a website so as to make them available to the general Space Operations community. The effort of searching for available Best Practices began in the fall of 1999. As the search progressed, it became apparent that there were not many Best Practices developed that were available to the general community. Therefore, the subcommittee decided to use the SOSTC Annual Workshop on Reducing Space Mission Costs as a forum for developing Best Practices for our purpose of sharing them with a larger audience. A dedicated track at the April 2000 workshop was designed to stimulate discussions on developing such Best Practices and forming working groups made up of experienced people from various organizations to perform the development. These groups were solicited to help outside the workshop to bring this effort to fruition. Since that time, biweekly teleconferences have been held to discuss the development of the Best Practices and their posting.
Payload mission control concepts are developed for real time flight operations of STS. Flight planning, training, simulations, and other flight preparations are included. Payload activities for the preflight phase, activity sequences and organizational allocations, and traffic and experience factors to establish composite man-loading for joint STS payload activities are identified for flight operations from 1980 to 1985.
We developed software that provides flexibility to mission organizations through modularity and composability. Modularity enables removal and addition of functionality through the installation of plug-ins. Composability enables users to assemble software from pre-built reusable objects, thus reducing or eliminating the walls associated with traditional application architectures and enabling unique combinations of functionality. We have used composable objects to reduce display build time, create workflows, and build scenarios to test concepts for lunar roving operations. The software is open source, and may be downloaded from https:github.comnasamct.
Wilkins, David E. B.
On 2 July 1985, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched an interplanetary probe to encounter Halley's Comet on the night of 13/14 March 1986 at a distance of 0.98 AU from Earth. The mission to Halley's Comet was the Agency's first venture into deep space. The tracking stations necessary to support such a mission were not directly available to ESA at the initiation of the GIOTTO project although facilities operated by NASA's deep space network were later made available for certain phases of the mission, together with the 30-m Weilheim antenna of the DFVLR. ESA's European Space Operations Centre, ESOC therefore developed the new deep space tracking stations especially for support of the GIOTTO mission. One of these stations, the 15-m antenna facility at Carnarvon, West Australia, was designed and installed by ESA as a dedicated S-band and X-band tracking, telemetry and command station. The second station at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, a 64-m radio telescope owned by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) was modified to provide X-band telemetry reception using cryogenic MASER low-noise amplifiers. This station operated by CSIRO with assistance from a ESA engineering and operations team, provided support to the GIOTTO mission for reception of the 46 kbs high speed telemetry format which is vital to success of the GIOTTO mission at time of Cometary Encounter. Additionally, the DFVLR Weilheim station was modified to include the newly developed ESOC deep space tracking system which was also installed at the Carnarvon Station. The paper discusses in some detail the network of tracking stations which provided the Control Centre at ESOC in Darmstadt, F.R.G. with the data which was vital to the success of the mission. Because the launch date of GIOTTO was a date which could not be rescheduled, the design installation, integration and testing of the complete GIOTTO mission operations system was an extremely time critical activity
Davidson, Reger A.; Murphy, Susan C.
JPL is currently converting to an innovative control center data system which is a distributed, open architecture for telemetry delivery and which is enabling advancement towards improved automation and operability, as well as new technology, in mission operations at JPL. The scope of mission control within mission operations is examined. The concepts of a mission control center and how operability can affect the design of a control center data system are discussed. Examples of JPL's mission control architecture, data system development, and prototype efforts at the JPL Operations Engineering Laboratory are provided. Strategies for the future of mission control architectures are outlined.
Wood, Terri; Hempel, Paul
MOPSS is a generic framework that can be configured on the fly to support a wide range of planning and scheduling applications. It is currently used to support seven missions at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in roles that include science planning, mission planning, and real-time control. Prior to MOPSS, each spacecraft project built its own planning and scheduling capability to plan satellite activities and communications and to create the commands to be uplinked to the spacecraft. This approach required creating a data repository for storing planning and scheduling information, building user interfaces to display data, generating needed scheduling algorithms, and implementing customized external interfaces. Complex scheduling problems that involved reacting to multiple variable situations were analyzed manually. Operators then used the results to add commands to the schedule. Each architecture was unique to specific satellite requirements. MOPSS is an expert system that automates mission operations and frees the flight operations team to concentrate on critical activities. It is easily reconfigured by the flight operations team as the mission evolves. The heart of the system is a custom object-oriented data layer mapped onto an Oracle relational database. The combination of these two technologies allows a user or system engineer to capture any type of scheduling or planning data in the system's generic data storage via a GUI.
Sherwood, Brent; Buddington, Patricia A.; Whittaker, William L.
The orbital operations required to accumulate, assemble, test, verify, maintain, and launch complex manned space systems on interplanetary missions from earth orbit are as vital as the flight hardware itself. Vast numbers of orbital crew are neither necessary nor desirable for accomplishing the required tasks. A suite of robotic techniques under human supervisory control, relying on sensors, software and manipulators either currently emergent or already applied in terrestrial settings, can make the job tractable. The mission vehicle becomes largely self-assembling, using its own rigid aerobrake as a work platform. The Space Station, having been used as a laboratory testbed and to house an assembly crew of four, is not dominated by the process. A feasible development schedule, if begun soon, could emplace orbital support technologies for exploration missions in time for a 2004 first interplanetary launch.
Arnold, Larissa S.
vehicle and system capabilities are required to support the activities? How will the crew and the Earth-based mission control team interact? During the initial phases of manned planetary exploration, one challenge in particular is virtually the same as during the Apollo program: How can scientific return be maximized during a relatively short surface mission? Today, NASA is investigating solutions to these challenges by conducting analog missions. These Earth-based missions possess characteristics that are analogous to missions on the Moon or Mars. These missions are excellent for testing operational concepts, and the design, configuration, and functionality of spacesuits, robots, rovers, and habitats. Analog mission crews test specific techniques and procedures for surface field geology, biological sample collection, and planetary protection. The process of actually working an analog mission reveals a myriad of small details, which either contribute to or impede efficient operations, many of which would never have been thought about otherwise. It also helps to define the suite of tools, containers, and other small equipment that surface explorers will use. This paper focuses on how analog missions have addressed selected operational considerations for future planetary missions.
What is mission operations? Mission operations is an iterative process aimed at achieving the greatest possible mission success with the resources available. The process involves understanding of the science objectives, investigation of which system capabilities can best meet these objectives, integration of the objectives and resources into a cohesive mission operations plan, evaluation of the plan through simulations, and implementation of the plan in real-time. In this paper, the authors present a comprehensive description of what the Hitchhiker mission operations approach is and why it is crucial to mission success. The authors describe the significance of operational considerations from the beginning and throughout the experiment ground and flight systems development. The authors also address the necessity of training and simulations. Finally, the authors cite several examples illustrating the benefits of understanding and utilizing the mission operations process.
Leblanc, D. R.; Schumacher, L. L.
The design of the pointing control system for the proposed International Comet Mission, intended to fly by Comet Halley and rendezvous with Comet Tempel-2 is presented. Following a review of mission objectives and the spacecraft configuration, design constraints on the pointing control system controlling the two-axis gimballed scan platform supporting the science instruments are discussed in relation to the scientific requirements of the mission. The primary design options considered for the pointing control system design for the baseline spacecraft are summarized, and the design selected, which employs a target-referenced, inertially stabilized control system, is described in detail. The four basic modes of operation of the pointing control subsystem (target acquisition, inertial hold, target track and slew) are discussed as they relate to operations at Halley and Tempel-2. It is pointed that the pointing control system design represents a significant advance in the state of the art of pointing controls for planetary missions.
Scott, Charles P.; Kahr, Bolinda E.; Sarrel, Marc A.
This paper explores the how's and why's of the Spitzer Mission Operations System's (MOS) success, efficiency, and affordability in comparison to other observatory-class missions. MOS exploits today's flight, ground, and operations capabilities, embraces automation, and balances both risk and cost. With operational efficiency as the primary goal, MOS maintains a strong control process by translating lessons learned into efficiency improvements, thereby enabling the MOS processes, teams, and procedures to rapidly evolve from concept (through thorough validation) into in-flight implementation. Operational teaming, planning, and execution are designed to enable re-use. Mission changes, unforeseen events, and continuous improvement have often times forced us to learn to fly anew. Collaborative spacecraft operations and remote science and instrument teams have become well integrated, and worked together to improve and optimize each human, machine, and software-system element. Adaptation to tighter spacecraft margins has facilitated continuous operational improvements via automated and autonomous software coupled with improved human analysis. Based upon what we now know and what we need to improve, adapt, or fix, the projected mission lifetime continues to grow - as does the opportunity for numerous scientific discoveries.
Barnes, R. J.; Kusnierkiewicz, D. J.; Bowman, A.; Harvey, R.; Ossing, D.; Eichstedt, J.
The ability to lower mission operations costs on any long duration mission depends on a number of factors; the opportunities for science, the flight trajectory, and the cruise phase environment, among others. Many deep space missions employ long cruises to their final destination with minimal science activities along the way; others may perform science observations on a near-continuous basis. This paper discusses approaches employed by two NASA missions implemented by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to minimize mission operations costs without compromising mission success: the New Horizons mission to Pluto, and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories (STEREO). The New Horizons spacecraft launched in January 2006 for an encounter with the Pluto system.The spacecraft trajectory required no deterministic on-board delta-V, and so the mission ops team then settled in for the rest of its 9.5-year cruise. The spacecraft has spent much of its cruise phase in a "hibernation" mode, which has enabled the spacecraft to be maintained with a small operations team, and minimized the contact time required from the NASA Deep Space Network. The STEREO mission is comprised of two three-axis stabilized sun-staring spacecraft in heliocentric orbit at a distance of 1 AU from the sun. The spacecraft were launched in October 2006. The STEREO instruments operate in a "decoupled" mode from the spacecraft, and from each other. Since STEREO operations are largely routine, unattended ground station contact operations were implemented early in the mission. Commands flow from the MOC to be uplinked, and the data recorded on-board is downlinked and relayed back to the MOC. Tools run in the MOC to assess the health and performance of ground system components. Alerts are generated and personnel are notified of any problems. Spacecraft telemetry is similarly monitored and alarmed, thus ensuring safe, reliable, low cost operations.
Reynolds, Walter F.; Lucord, Steven A.; Stevens, John E.
Reports on the progress of the JSC/OTF prototype of a CCSDS SM&C protocol based communications link between two space flight operations control centers. Varied implementations using software architectures from current web enterprise venues are presented. The AMS protocol (CCSDS Blue Book standard 735.1) was used for messaging and link communications.
The duration of a mission--and subsequently, the minimum spacecraft lifetime--is a key component in designing the capabilities of a spacecraft during mission formulation. However, determining the duration is not simply a function of how long it will take the spacecraft to execute the activities needed to achieve mission objectives. Instead, the effects of the interaction between the spacecraft and ground operators must also be taken into account. This paper describes a method, using "operations efficiency factors", to account for these effects for Mars surface missions. Typically, this level of analysis has not been performed until much later in the mission development cycle, and has not been able to influence mission or spacecraft design. Further, the notion of moving to sustainable operations during Prime Mission--and the effect that change would have on operations productivity and mission objective choices--has not been encountered until the most recent rover missions (MSL, the (now-cancelled) joint NASA-ESA 2018 Mars rover, and the proposed rover for Mars 2020). Since MSL had a single control center and sun-synchronous relay assets (like MER), estimates of productivity derived from MER prime and extended missions were used. However, Mars 2018's anticipated complexity (there would have been control centers in California and Italy, and a non-sun-synchronous relay asset) required the development of an explicit model of operations efficiency that could handle these complexities. In the case of the proposed Mars 2018 mission, the model was employed to assess the mission return of competing operations concepts, and as an input to component lifetime requirements. In this paper we provide examples of how to calculate the operations efficiency factor for a given operational configuration, and how to apply the factors to surface mission scenarios. This model can be applied to future missions to enable early effective trades between operations design, science mission
Medina, Barbara; Bussman, Marie
Development of technologies that enable significant reductions in the cost of space mission operations is critical if constellations, formations, federations and sensor webs, are to be economically feasible. One approach to cost reduction is to infuse automation technologies into mission operations centers so that fewer personnel are needed for mission support. But missions are more culturally and politically adverse to the risks of automation. Reducing the mission risk associated with increased use of automation within a MOC is therefore of great importance. The belief that mission risk increases as more automation is used stems from the fact that there is inherently less direct human oversight to investigate and resolve anomalies in an unattended MOC. The Virtual Missions Operations Center - Collaborative Environment (VMOC-CE) project was launched to address this concern. The goal of the VMOC-CE project is to identify, develop, and infuse technology to enable mission operations between onsite operators and on-call personnel in geographically dispersed locations. VMOC-CE enables missions to more readily adopt automation because off-site operators and engineers can more easily identify, investigate, and resolve anomalies without having to be present in the MOC. The VMOC-CE intent is to have a single access point for all resources used in a collaborative mission operations environment. Team members will be able to interact during spacecraft operations, specifically for resolving anomalies, utilizing a desktop computer and the Internet. Mission operations management can use the VMOC-CE as a tool to participate in and monitor status of anomaly resolution or other mission operations issues. In this paper we present the VMOC-CE project, system capabilities and technologies, operations concept, and results of its pilot in support of the Earth Science Mission Operations System (ESMOS).
Eggleston, T. W.
It is suggested that the system operations will be one of the most expensive parts of the Mars mission, and that, in order to reduce their cost, they should be considered during the conceptual phase of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) program. System operations of Space Station Freedom, Lunar outpost, and Mars Rover Sample Return are examined in order to develop a similar concept for the manned Mars mission. Factors that have to be taken into account include: (1) psychological stresses caused by long periods of isolation; (2) the effects of boredom; (3) the necessity of onboard training to maintain a high level of crew skills; and (4) the 40-min time delays between issuing and receiving a command, which make real-time flight control inoperative and require long-term decisions to be made by the ground support.
Bird, T. H.; Sharpe, B. L.
Trends in automation of planetary spacecraft are examined using data from missions as far back as Mariner '67 and up to the highly sophisticated Galileo. Nine design considerations which influence the degree of automation such as protection against catastrophic failures, highly repetitive functions, loss of spacecraft communications, and the need for near-real-time adaptivity are discussed. Rapid growth of automation is shown in terms of on-board hardware by plots of number of processors on board, the average speed of processors, and total core memory. The number of commands transmitted from the ground has grown to 5 million bits in Voyager, so that increases in mission complexity have increased both in spacecraft automation and ground operations. Achieving greater automation by transferring ground operations to the spacecraft with the current means of controlling missions, are considered noting proposed changes. For the future, improved computer technology, more microprocessors and increased core storage will be used, and the number of automated functions and their complexity will grow. It is concluded that using the growing computational capability of spacecraft will achieve more autonomy thus reversing the trend of increased mission complexity and cost.
Web Design for Space Operations: An Overview of the Challenges and New Technologies Used in Developing and Operating Web-Based Applications in Real-Time Operational Support Onboard the International Space Station, in Astronaut Mission Planning and Mission Control Operations
The International Space Station (ISS) Operations Planning Team, Mission Control Centre and Mission Automation Support Network (MAS) have all evolved over the years to use commercial web-based technologies to create a configurable electronic infrastructure to manage the complex network of real-time planning, crew scheduling, resource and activity management as well as onboard document and procedure management required to co-ordinate ISS assembly, daily operations and mission support. While these Web technologies are classified as non-critical in nature, their use is part of an essential backbone of daily operations on the ISS and allows the crew to operate the ISS as a functioning science laboratory. The rapid evolution of the internet from 1998 (when ISS assembly began) to today, along with the nature of continuous manned operations in space, have presented a unique challenge in terms of software engineering and system development. In addition, the use of a wide array of competing internet technologies (including commercial technologies such as .NET and JAVA ) and the special requirements of having to support this network, both nationally among various control centres for International Partners (IPs), as well as onboard the station itself, have created special challenges for the MCC Web Tools Development Team, software engineers and flight controllers, who implement and maintain this system. This paper presents an overview of some of these operational challenges, and the evolving nature of the solutions and the future use of COTS based rich internet technologies in manned space flight operations. In particular this paper will focus on the use of Microsoft.s .NET API to develop Web-Based Operational tools, the use of XML based service oriented architectures (SOA) that needed to be customized to support Mission operations, the maintenance of a Microsoft IIS web server onboard the ISS, The OpsLan, functional-oriented Web Design with AJAX
Sunseri, Richard F.; Wu, Hsi-Cheng; Hanna, Robert A.; Mossey, Michael P.; Duncan, Courtney B.; Evans, Scott E.; Evans, James R.; Drain, Theodore R.; Guevara, Michelle M.; Martin Mur, Tomas J.; Attiyah, Ahlam A.
MONTE (Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment) Release 7.3 is an extensible software system designed to support trajectory and navigation analysis/design for space missions. MONTE is intended to replace the current navigation and trajectory analysis software systems, which, at the time of this reporting, are used by JPL's Navigation and Mission Design section. The software provides an integrated, simplified, and flexible system that can be easily maintained to serve the needs of future missions in need of navigation services.
Cameron, G. E.; Landshof, J. A.; Whitworth, G. W.
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) program at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is scheduled to launch the first spacecraft in NASA's Discovery program. The Discovery program is to promote low cost spacecraft design, development, and mission operations for planetary space missions. The authors describe the NEAR mission and discuss the design and development of the NEAR Mission Operations System and the NEAR Ground System with an emphasis on those aspects of the design that are conducive to low-cost operations.
NASA s Mission Operations Directorate provides all the mission planning, training, and operations support for NASA's human spaceflight missions including the International Space Station (ISS) and its fleet of supporting vehicles. MOD also develops and maintains the facilities necessary to conduct training and operations for those missions including the Mission Control Center, Space Station Training Facility, Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, and Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. MOD's overarching approach to human spaceflight training is to "train like you fly." This approach means not only trying to replicate the operational environment in training but also to approach training with the same mindset as real operations. When in training, this means using the same approach for executing operations, responding to off-nominal situations, and conducting yourself in the operations environment in the same manner as you would for the real vehicle.
The integrated LANDSAT-D systems operation plan is presented and discussed with respect to functional elements, personnel, and procedures. Specifically, a review of the LANDSAT-D program, mission requirements and management, and flight operations is given.
Cluster external contamination control evaluation was made throughout the Skylab Mission. This evaluation indicated that contamination control measures instigated during the design, development, and operational phases of this program were adequate to reduce the general contamination environment external to the Cluster below the threshold senstivity levels for experiments and affected subsystems. Launch and orbit contamination control features included eliminating certain vents, rerouting vents for minimum contamination impact, establishing filters, incorporating materials with minimum outgassing characteristics and developing operational constraints and mission rules to minimize contamination effects. Prior to the launch of Skylab, contamination control math models were developed which were used to predict Cluster surface deposition and background brightness levels throughout the mission. The report summarizes the Skylab system and experiment contamination control evaluation. The Cluster systems and experiments evaluated include Induced Atmosphere, Corollary and ATM Experiments, Thermal Control Surfaces, Solar Array Systems, Windows and Star Tracker.
NASA's Operation ICE Bridge is the most recent success for the Airborne Science Program, NASA scientists and climate researchers. This six minute video summarizes NASA's research mission over west ...
A Generic Mission Operations System using Expert System technology to demonstrate the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) automated monitor and control functions in a Mission Operations and Satellite Test environment will be developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Expert system techniques in a real time operation environment are being studied and applied to science and engineering data processing. Advanced decommutation schemes and intelligent display technology will be examined to develop imaginative improvements in rapid interpretation and distribution of information. The Generic Payload Operations Control Center (GPOCC) will demonstrate improved data handling accuracy, flexibility, and responsiveness in a complex mission environment. The ultimate goal is to automate repetitious mission operations, instrument, and satellite test functions by the applications of expert system technology and artificial intelligence resources and to enhance the level of man-machine sophistication.
Nio, Tomomi; Saito, Susumu; Stocker, Erich; Pawloski, James H.; Murayama, Yoshifumi; Ohata, Takeshi
The Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) is a joint U.S. and Japan mission to observe tropical rainfall, which was launched by H-II No. 6 from Tanegashima in Japan at 6:27 JST on November 28, 1997. After the two-month commissioning of TRMM satellite and instruments, the original nominal mission lifetime was three years. In fact, the operations has continued for approximately 17.5 years. This paper provides a summary of the long term operations of TRMM.
Welz, Linda; Kazz, Sheri; Potts, Sherrill; Witkowski, Mona; Bruno, Kristin
A long-term program is in progress at JPL to reduce cost and risk of mission operations through defect prevention and error management. A major element of this program, Mission Operations and Command Assurance (MO&CA), provides a system level function on flight projects to instill quality in mission operations. MO&CA embodies the total quality management TQM principle of continuous process improvement (CPI) and uses CPI in applying automation to mission operations to reduce risk and costs. MO&CA has led efforts to apply and has implemented automation in areas that impact the daily flight project work environment including Incident Surprise Anomaly tracking and reporting; command data verification, tracking and reporting; and command support data usage. MO&CA's future work in automation will take into account that future mission operations systems must be designed to avoid increasing error through the introduction of automation, while adapting to the demands of smaller flight teams.
Long, Anne; Farahmand, Mitra; Carpenter, Russell
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission employs four identical spinning spacecraft flying in highly elliptical Earth orbits. These spacecraft will fly in a series of tetrahedral formations with separations of less than 10 km. MMS navigation operations use onboard navigation to satisfy the mission definitive orbit and time determination requirements and in addition to minimize operations cost and complexity. The onboard navigation subsystem consists of the Navigator GPS receiver with Goddard Enhanced Onboard Navigation System (GEONS) software, and an Ultra-Stable Oscillator. The four MMS spacecraft are operated from a single Mission Operations Center, which includes a Flight Dynamics Operations Area (FDOA) that supports MMS navigation operations, as well as maneuver planning, conjunction assessment and attitude ground operations. The System Manager component of the FDOA automates routine operations processes. The GEONS Ground Support System component of the FDOA provides the tools needed to support MMS navigation operations. This paper provides an overview of the MMS mission and associated navigation requirements and constraints and discusses MMS navigation operations and the associated MMS ground system components built to support navigation-related operations.
Heindel, Troy A.; Rasmussen, Arthur N.; Mcfarland, Robert Z.
The Real Time Data System (RTDS) Project was undertaken in 1987 to introduce new concepts and technologies for advanced automation into the Mission Control Center environment at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The project's emphasis is on producing advanced near-operational prototype systems that are developed using a rapid, interactive method and are used by flight controllers during actual Shuttle missions. In most cases the prototype applications have been of such quality and utility that they have been converted to production status. A key ingredient has been an integrated team of software engineers and flight controllers working together to quickly evolve the demonstration systems.
Underbrink, A.; Witt, K.; Stanley, J.; Mandl, D.
We present interim results of a 2005 ROSES AIST project entitled, "Using Intelligent Agents to Form a Sensor Web for Autonomous Mission Operations", or SWAMO. The goal of the SWAMO project is to shift the control of spacecraft missions from a ground-based, centrally controlled architecture to a collaborative, distributed set of intelligent agents. The network of intelligent agents intends to reduce management requirements by utilizing model-based system prediction and autonomic model/agent collaboration. SWAMO agents are distributed throughout the Sensor Web environment, which may include multiple spacecraft, aircraft, ground systems, and ocean systems, as well as manned operations centers. The agents monitor and manage sensor platforms, Earth sensing systems, and Earth sensing models and processes. The SWAMO agents form a Sensor Web of agents via peer-to-peer coordination. Some of the intelligent agents are mobile and able to traverse between on-orbit and ground-based systems. Other agents in the network are responsible for encapsulating system models to perform prediction of future behavior of the modeled subsystems and components to which they are assigned. The software agents use semantic web technologies to enable improved information sharing among the operational entities of the Sensor Web. The semantics include ontological conceptualizations of the Sensor Web environment, plus conceptualizations of the SWAMO agents themselves. By conceptualizations of the agents, we mean knowledge of their state, operational capabilities, current operational capacities, Web Service search and discovery results, agent collaboration rules, etc. The need for ontological conceptualizations over the agents is to enable autonomous and autonomic operations of the Sensor Web. The SWAMO ontology enables automated decision making and responses to the dynamic Sensor Web environment and to end user science requests. The current ontology is compatible with Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC
Holt, Alan C.
Space Station Freedom is designed with the capability to cost-effectively evolve into a transportation node which can support manned lunar and Mars missions. To extend a permanent human presence to the outer planets (moon outposts) and to nearby star systems, additional orbiting space infrastructure and great advances in propulsion system and other technologies will be required. To identify primary operations and management requirements for these deep space missions, an interstellar design concept was developed and analyzed. The assembly, test, servicing, logistics resupply, and increment management techniques anticipated for lunar and Mars missions appear to provide a pattern which can be extended in an analogous manner to deep space missions. A long range, space infrastructure development plan (encompassing deep space missions) coupled with energetic, breakthrough level propulsion research should be initiated now to assist in making the best budget and schedule decisions.
Hammer, Fred J.; Kahr, Joseph R.
In the past, flight and ground systems have been developed largely-independently, with the flight system taking the lead, and dominating the development process. Operability issues have been addressed poorly in planning, requirements, design, I&T, and system-contracting activities. In many cases, as documented in lessons-learned, this has resulted in significant avoidable increases in cost and risk. With complex missions and systems, operability is being recognized as an important end-to-end design issue. Never-the-less, lessons-learned and operability concepts remain, in many cases, poorly understood and sporadically applied. A key to effective application of operability concepts is adopting a 'mission system' paradigm. In this paradigm, flight and ground systems are treated, from an engineering and management perspective, as inter-related elements of a larger mission system. The mission system consists of flight hardware, flight software, telecom services, ground data system, testbeds, flight teams, science teams, flight operations processes, procedures, and facilities. The system is designed in functional layers, which span flight and ground. It is designed in response to project-level requirements, mission design and an operations concept, and is developed incrementally, with early and frequent integration of flight and ground components.
This paper describes the selection and training process of satellite controllers and data network operators performed at INPE's Satellite Tracking and Control Center in order to prepare them for the mission operations of the INPE's first (SCD1) satellite. An overview of the ground control system and SCD1 architecture and mission is given. Different training phases are described, taking into account that the applicants had no previous knowledge of space operations requiring, therefore, a training which started from the basics.
Mishkin, Andrew; Lee, Young; Korth, David; LeBlanc, Troy
For most of the history of space exploration, human and robotic programs have been independent, and have responded to distinct requirements. The NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of humans to the Moon, and the eventual human exploration of Mars; the complexity of this range of missions will require an unprecedented use of automation and robotics in support of human crews. The challenges of human Mars missions, including roundtrip communications time delays of 6 to 40 minutes, interplanetary transit times of many months, and the need to manage lifecycle costs, will require the evolution of a new mission operations paradigm far less dependent on real-time monitoring and response by an Earthbound operations team. Robotic systems and automation will augment human capability, increase human safety by providing means to perform many tasks without requiring immediate human presence, and enable the transfer of traditional mission control tasks from the ground to crews. Developing and validating the new paradigm and its associated infrastructure may place requirements on operations design for nearer-term lunar missions. The authors, representing both the human and robotic mission operations communities, assess human lunar and Mars mission challenges, and consider how human-robot operations may be integrated to enable efficient joint operations, with the eventual emergence of a unified exploration operations culture.
Korth, David; LeBlanc, Troy; Mishkin, Andrew; Lee, Young
For most of the history of space exploration, human and robotic programs have been independent, and have responded to distinct requirements. The NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of humans to the Moon, and the eventual human exploration of Mars; the complexity of this range of missions will require an unprecedented use of automation and robotics in support of human crews. The challenges of human Mars missions, including roundtrip communications time delays of 6 to 40 minutes, interplanetary transit times of many months, and the need to manage lifecycle costs, will require the evolution of a new mission operations paradigm far less dependent on real-time monitoring and response by an Earthbound operations team. Robotic systems and automation will augment human capability, increase human safety by providing means to perform many tasks without requiring immediate human presence, and enable the transfer of traditional mission control tasks from the ground to crews. Developing and validating the new paradigm and its associated infrastructure may place requirements on operations design for nearer-term lunar missions. The authors, representing both the human and robotic mission operations communities, assess human lunar and Mars mission challenges, and consider how human-robot operations may be integrated to enable efficient joint operations, with the eventual emergence of a unified exploration operations culture.
Maxwell, Jennifer L.; McCullar, Michelle L.; Conner, Diane
The Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan, a joint venture between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency, is conducting a four-year, prime mission exploring the Saturnian system, including its atmosphere, rings, magnetosphere, moons and icy satellites. Launched in 1997, Cassini began its prime mission in 2004. Cassini is now preparing for a new era, a two-year extended mission to revisit many of the highlights and new discoveries made during the prime mission. Because of the light time delay from Earth to Saturn, and the time needed to coordinate the complicated science and engineering activities that take place on the spacecraft, commanding on Cassini is done in approximately 40-day intervals known as sequences. The Cassini Uplink Operations team is responsible for the final development and validation of the pointing profile and instrument and spacecraft commands that are contained in a sequence. During this final analysis prior to uplink to the spacecraft, thorough and exact evaluation is necessary to ensure there are no mistakes during commanding. In order to perform this evaluation, complete and refined processes and procedures are fundamental. The Uplink Operations team is also responsible for anomaly response during sequence execution, a process in which critical decisions often are made in real-time. Recent anomalies on other spacecraft missions have highlighted two major risks in the operations process: (1) personnel turnover and the retirement of critical knowledge and (2) aging, outdated operations procedures. If other missions are a good barometer, the Cassini extended mission will be presented with a high personnel turnover of the Cassini flight team, which could lead to a loss of expertise that has been essential to the success of the prime mission. In order to prepare the Cassini Uplink Operations Team for this possibility and to continue to develop and operate safe science and
Mclaughlin, William I.; Wolff, Donna M.
The purpose of the paper is twofold: (1) to present an overview of the processes comprising planetary mission operations as conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and (2) to present a project-specific and historical context within which this evolving process functions. In order to accomplish these objectives, the generic uplink and downlink functions are described along with their specialization to current flight projects. Also, new multimission capabilities are outlined, including prototyping of advanced-capability software for subsequent incorporation into more automated future operations. Finally, a specific historical ground is provided by listing some major operations software plus a genealogy of planetary missions beginning with Mariner 2 in 1962.
Digital autopilots for the manned command module earth orbital and lunar missions using program COLOSSUS 3 are discussed. Subjects presented are: (1) reaction control system digital autopilot, (2) thrust vector control autopilot, (3) entry autopilot and mission control programs, (4) takeover of Saturn steering, and (5) coasting flight attitude maneuver routine.
Felton, Larry; Newhouse, Marilyn; Bornas, Nick; Botts, Dennis; Ijames, Gayleen; Montgomery, Patty; Roth, Karl
Spacecraft control centers have evolved from dedicated, single-mission or single mission-type support to multi-mission, service-oriented support for operating a variety of mission types. At the same time, available money for projects is shrinking and competition for new missions is increasing. These factors drive the need for an accurate and flexible model to support estimating service costs for new or extended missions; the cost model in turn drives the need for an accurate and efficient approach to service cost analysis. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) provides operations services to a variety of customers around the world. HOSC customers range from launch vehicle test flights; to International Space Station (ISS) payloads; to small, short duration missions; and has included long duration flagship missions. The HOSC recently completed a detailed analysis of service costs as part of the development of a complete service cost model. The cost analysis process required the team to address a number of issues. One of the primary issues involves the difficulty of reverse engineering individual mission costs in a highly efficient multi-mission environment, along with a related issue of the value of detailed metrics or data to the cost model versus the cost of obtaining accurate data. Another concern is the difficulty of balancing costs between missions of different types and size and extrapolating costs to different mission types. The cost analysis also had to address issues relating to providing shared, cloud-like services in a government environment, and then assigning an uncertainty or risk factor to cost estimates that are based on current technology, but will be executed using future technology. Finally the cost analysis needed to consider how to validate the resulting cost models taking into account the non-homogeneous nature of the available cost data and
Burley, Richard; Goulet, Gregory; Slater, Mark; Huey, William; Bassford, Lynn; Dunham, Larry
On June 13, 2011, after more than 21 years, 115 thousand orbits, and nearly 1 million exposures taken, the operation of the Hubble Space Telescope successfully transitioned from 24x7x365 staffing to 815 staffing. This required the automation of routine mission operations including telemetry and forward link acquisition, data dumping and solid-state recorder management, stored command loading, and health and safety monitoring of both the observatory and the HST Ground System. These changes were driven by budget reductions, and required ground system and onboard spacecraft enhancements across the entire operations spectrum, from planning and scheduling systems to payload flight software. Changes in personnel and staffing were required in order to adapt to the new roles and responsibilities required in the new automated operations era. This paper will provide a high level overview of the obstacles to automating nominal HST mission operations, both technical and cultural, and how those obstacles were overcome.
The Mariner Mars 1971 mission which was another step in the continuing program of planetary exploration in search of evidence of exobiological activity, information on the origin and evolution of the solar system, and basic science data related to the study of planetary physics, geology, planetology, and cosmology is reported. The mission plan was designed for two spacecraft, each performing a separate but complementary mission. However, a single mission plan was actually used for Mariner 9 because of failure of the launch vehicle for the first spacecraft. The implementation is described, of the Mission Operations System, including organization, training, and data processing development and operations, and Mariner 9 spacecraft cruise and orbital operations through completion of the standard mission from launch to solar occultation in April 1972 are discussed.
Altunin, Valery I.; Kuiper, Thomas B.; Wolken, Pamela R.
Reliable radio astronomy support of space very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) missions by ground radio telescopes is mandatory in order to achieve a high scientific return from the missions. The 70 m DSN antennas along with other ground radio telescopes will perform as the ground segment of the earth-space interferometer. Improvements of radio astronomy VLBI operations at the DSN to achieve higher reliability, efficiency, flexibility, and lower operations costs is a major goal in preparing for radio astronomy support of SVLBI. To help realize this goal, a remote control and monitoring mode for radio astronomy operations at the DSN has been developed.
Newhouse, M.; Felton, L.; Bornas, N.; Botts, D.; Roth, K.; Ijames, G.; Montgomery, P.
Spacecraft control centers have evolved from dedicated, single-mission or single missiontype support to multi-mission, service-oriented support for operating a variety of mission types. At the same time, available money for projects is shrinking and competition for new missions is increasing. These factors drive the need for an accurate and flexible model to support estimating service costs for new or extended missions; the cost model in turn drives the need for an accurate and efficient approach to service cost analysis. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) provides operations services to a variety of customers around the world. HOSC customers range from launch vehicle test flights; to International Space Station (ISS) payloads; to small, short duration missions; and has included long duration flagship missions. The HOSC recently completed a detailed analysis of service costs as part of the development of a complete service cost model. The cost analysis process required the team to address a number of issues. One of the primary issues involves the difficulty of reverse engineering individual mission costs in a highly efficient multimission environment, along with a related issue of the value of detailed metrics or data to the cost model versus the cost of obtaining accurate data. Another concern is the difficulty of balancing costs between missions of different types and size and extrapolating costs to different mission types. The cost analysis also had to address issues relating to providing shared, cloud-like services in a government environment, and then assigning an uncertainty or risk factor to cost estimates that are based on current technology, but will be executed using future technology. Finally the cost analysis needed to consider how to validate the resulting cost models taking into account the non-homogeneous nature of the available cost data and the
performed by crew and ground controllers. This experience has also identified the need for new approaches to staffing and training for both crew and ground controllers. This paper provides a brief overview of the mission capabilities provided by the 2nd Gen RLV, a description of NASA's approach to developing the 2nd Gen RLV, a discussion of operations concepts, and a list of challenges to implementing those concepts.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wind mission is the first mission of the Global Geospace Science (GGS) initiative. The Wind laboratory will study the properties of particles and waves in the region between the Earth and the Sun. Using the Moon s gravity to save fuel, dual lunar swing-by orbits enable the spacecraft to sample regions close to and far from the Earth. During the three year mission, Wind will pass through the bow shock of Earth's magnetosphere to begin a thorough investigation of the solar wind. Mission objectives require spacecraft measurements in two orbits: lunar swing- by ellipses out to distances of 250 Earth radii (RE) and a small orbit around the Lagrangian point L-l that remains between the Earth and the Sun. Wind will be placed into an initial orbit for approximately 2 years. It will then be maneuvered into a transition orbit and ultimately into a halo orbit at the Earth-Sun L-l point where it will operate for the remainder of its lifetime. The Wind satellite development was managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center with the Martin Marietta Corporation, Astro-Space Division serving as the prime contractor. Overall programmatic direction was provided by NASA Headquarters, Office of Space Science. The spacecraft will be launched under a launch service contract with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation on a Delta II Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) within a November l-l4, 1994 launch window. The Wind spacecraft carries six U.S. instruments, one French instrument, and the first Russian instrument ever to fly on an American satellite. The Wind and Polar missions are the two components of the GGS Program. Wind is also the second mission of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Program. The first ISTP mission, Geotail, is a joint project of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan and NASA which launched in 1992. The Wind mission is planned to overlap Geotail by six months and Polar by one year
Kumaş, A. E.
By means of evolving technology, capabilities of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)s are increasing rapidly. This development provides UAVs to be used in many different areas. One of these areas is CAS (Close Air Support) mission. UAVs have several advantages compared to manned aircraft, however there are also some problematic areas. The remote controlling of these vehicles from thousands of nautical miles away via satellite may lead to various problems both ethical and tactical aspects. Therefore, CAS missions require a good level of ALI (Air-Land Integration), a high SA (situational awareness) and precision engagement. In fact, there is an aware friendly element in the target area in CAS missions, unlike the other UAV operations. This element is an Airman called JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller). Unlike the JTAC, UAV operators are too far away from target area and use the limited FOV (Field of View) provided by camera and some other sensor data. In this study, target area situational awareness of a UAV operator and a JTAC, in a high-risk mission for friendly ground forces and civilians such as CAS, are compared. As a result of this comparison, answer to the question who should control the UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) in which circumstances is sought. A literature review is made in UAV and CAS fields and recent air operations are examined. The control of UCAV by the JTAC is assessed by SWOT analysis and as a result it is deduced that both control methods can be used in different situations within the framework of the ROE (Rules Of Engagement) is reached.
Holdridge, Mark E.
On February 17, 1996, the first NASA Discovery Class Mission to launch, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft, began its journey to the asteroid Eros. NEAR is the first planetary spacecraft to be designed and operated by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). In July 2002, the comet nucleus tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft, the second planetary spacecraft to be built and operated at JHUAPL and the 6th in the series of NASA Discovery Class Missions, will be launched. Both NEAR and CONTOUR share ambitious "Faster, Better, Cheaper" goals. Furthermore, with both missions being developed and operated at the same institution, a unique opportunity exists to refine CONTOUR designs and operational practices based on 5 years of NEAR operational experience. This paper provides an overview of designs and operational practices implemented by JHU/APL to safely and effectively conduct the NEAR mission. This paper discusses how these will be applied to the CONTOUR mission and what improvements are planned. It also discusses the unique challenges CONTOUR possesses for operating a 4 year mission with widely varying operations activity levels at low cost.
Luquette, Richard J.; Leitner, Jesse; Gendreau, Keith; Sanner, Robert M.
Over the next twenty years, a wave of change is occurring in the space-based scientific remote sensing community. While the fundamental limits in the spatial and angular resolution achievable in spacecraft have been reached, based on today s technology, an expansive new technology base has appeared over the past decade in the area of Distributed Space Systems (DSS). A key subset of the DSS technology area is that which covers precision formation flying of space vehicles. Through precision formation flying, the baselines, previously defined by the largest monolithic structure which could fit in the largest launch vehicle fairing, are now virtually unlimited. Several missions including the Micro-Arcsecond X-ray Imaging Mission (MAXIM), and the Stellar Imager will drive the formation flying challenges to achieve unprecedented baselines for high resolution, extended-scene, interferometry in the ultraviolet and X-ray regimes. This paper focuses on establishing the feasibility for the formation control of the MAXIM mission. MAXIM formation flying requirements are on the order of microns, while Stellar Imager mission requirements are on the order of nanometers. This paper specifically addresses: (1) high-level science requirements for these missions and how they evolve into engineering requirements; and (2) the development of linearized equations of relative motion for a formation operating in an n-body gravitational field. Linearized equations of motion provide the ground work for linear formation control designs.
Bruno, Kristin J.; Welz, Linda L.; Barnes, G. Michael; Sherif, Josef
A long-term program is in progress at JPL to reduce cost and risk of flight mission operations through a defect prevention/error management program. The main thrust of this program is to create an environment in which the performance of the total system, both the human operator and the computer system, is optimized. To this end, 1580 Incident Surprise Anomaly reports (ISA's) from 1977-1991 were analyzed from the Voyager and Magellan projects. A Pareto analysis revealed that 38 percent of the errors were classified as human errors. A preliminary cluster analysis based on the Magellan human errors (204 ISA's) is presented here. The resulting clusters described the underlying relationships among the ISA's. Initial models of human error in flight mission operations are presented. Next, the Voyager ISA's will be scored and included in the analysis. Eventually, these relationships will be used to derive a theoretically motivated and empirically validated model of human error in flight mission operations. Ultimately, this analysis will be used to make continuous process improvements continuous process improvements to end-user applications and training requirements. This Total Quality Management approach will enable the management and prevention of errors in the future.
McCann, Robert S.
Historically, manned spacecraft missions have relied heavily on real-time communication links between crewmembers and ground control for generating crew activity schedules and working time-critical off-nominal situations. On crewed missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, speed-of-light limitations will render this ground-centered concept of operations obsolete. A new, more distributed concept of operations will have to be developed in which the crew takes on more responsibility for real-time anomaly diagnosis and resolution, activity planning and replanning, and flight operations. I will discuss the innovative information technologies, human-machine interfaces, and simulation capabilities that must be developed in order to develop, test, and validate deep-space mission operations
Basic study tasks are described which produce documentation to meet the following objectives: (1) flight control functions, (2) NASA flight control capabilities, (3) function allocations, (4) operational communications and information processing plans, (5) alternative system concepts for STS payload flight control support, and (6) estimated additional resources for selected system concept(s).
Welz, Linda L.; Bruno, Kristin J.; Kazz, Sheri L.; Potts, Sherrill S.; Witkowski, Mona M.
Mission Operations and Command Assurance (MO&CA) is a Total Quality Management (TQM) task on JPL projects to instill quality in flight mission operations. From a system engineering view, MO&CA facilitates communication and problem-solving among flight teams and provides continuous solving among flight teams and provides continuous process improvement to reduce risk in mission operations by addressing human factors. The MO&CA task has evolved from participating as a member of the spacecraft team, to an independent team reporting directly to flight project management and providing system level assurance. JPL flight projects have benefited significantly from MO&CA's effort to contain risk and prevent rather than rework errors. MO&CA's ability to provide direct transfer of knowledge allows new projects to benefit from previous and ongoing flight experience.
Smith, Ernest; Webb, Dennis
The Constellation Program Mission Operations Project Office (CxP MOP) at Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas is preparing to support the CxP mission operations objectives for the CEV/Orion flights, the Lunar Lander, and and Lunar surface operations. Initially the CEV will provide access to the International Space Station, then progress to the Lunar missions. Initial CEV mission operations support will be conceptually similar to the Apollo missions, and we have set a challenge to support the CEV mission with 50% of the mission operations support currently required for Shuttle missions. Therefore, we are assessing more efficient way to organize the support and new technologies which will enhance our operations support. This paper will address the status of our preparation for these CxP missions, our philosophical approach to CxP operations support, and some of the technologies we are assessing to streamline our mission operations infrastructure.
The Telecommunications and Mission Operations Directorate (TMOD) of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is responsible for development, maintenance and operation of flight operations systems for several classes of science missions planned for the next several years.
Fuselier, S. A.; Lewis, W. S.; Schiff, C.; Ergun, R.; Burch, J. L.; Petrinec, S. M.; Trattner, K. J.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission and operations are designed to provide the maximum reconnection science. The mission phases are chosen to investigate reconnection at the dayside magnetopause and in the magnetotail. At the dayside, the MMS orbits are chosen to maximize encounters with the magnetopause in regions where the probability of encountering the reconnection diffusion region is high. In the magnetotail, the orbits are chosen to maximize encounters with the neutral sheet, where reconnection is known to occur episodically. Although this targeting is limited by engineering constraints such as total available fuel, high science return orbits exist for launch dates over most of the year. The tetrahedral spacecraft formation has variable spacing to determine the optimum separations for the reconnection regions at the magnetopause and in the magnetotail. In the specific science regions of interest, the spacecraft are operated in a fast survey mode with continuous acquisition of burst mode data. Later, burst mode triggers and a ground-based scientist in the loop are used to determine the highest quality data to downlink for analysis. This operations scheme maximizes the science return for the mission.
Wilson, Robert K.; Scott, Charles P.
Spitzer Space Telescope, the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories, and the cornerstone to NASA's Origins Program, launched on 25 August 2003 into an Earth-trailing solar orbit to acquire infrared observations from space. Spitzer has an 85cm diameter beryllium telescope, which operates near absolute zero utilizing a liquid helium cryostat for cooling the telescope. The helium cryostat though designed for a 2.5 year lifetime, through creative usage now has an expected lifetime of 5.5 years. Spitzer has completed its in-orbit checkout/science verification phases and the first two years of nominal operations becoming the first mission to execute astronomical observations from a solar orbit. Spitzer was designed to probe and explore the universe in the infrared utilizing three state of the art detector arrays providing imaging, photometry, and spectroscopy over the 3-160 micron wavelength range. Spitzer is achieving major advances in the study of astrophysical phenomena across the expanses of our universe. Many technology areas critical to future infrared missions have been successfully demonstrated by Spitzer. These demonstrated technologies include lightweight cryogenic optics, sensitive detector arrays, and a high performance thermal system, combining radiation both passive and active cryogenic cooling of the telescope in space following its warm launch. This paper provides an overview of the Spitzer mission, telescope, cryostat, instruments, spacecraft, its orbit, operations and project management approach and related lessons learned.
EO-1 Mission Status for the Constellation Mission Operations Working Group to discuss the EO-1 flight systems, mission enhancements, debris avoidance maneuver, orbital information, 5-year outlook, and new ground stations.
Lin, Shin-Fa; Chern, Jeng-Shing; Wu, An-Ming
Since its launch on 20 May 2004, FORMOSAT-2 (FS2, Formosa satellite ♯2) has been operated on orbit for more than 9 years. It carries two payloads: the remote sensing instrument (RSI) for Earth observations and the imager of sprites and upper atmospheric lightning instrument (ISUAL) for the purpose of scientific observations. The RSI is operating at daytime while ISUAL is active at night-time. To meet both mission objectives simultaneously, the satellite operations planning has been more complicated. In order to maximize the usage of the on-board resources, the satellite attitude maneuver activities and power charge/discharge cycles have been scheduled cautiously in every detail. Under such fully engaged operations scenario and with a design life of 5 years, it is inevitable that the satellite encountered many anomalies, either permanent or temporary. In particular, one attitude gyro (totally four) and one reaction wheel (totally four) have been failed. This paper presents the major anomalies and resolutions in the past years. Many iterations and trade-offs have been made to minimize the effect on mission operations of the handicapped FORMOSAT-2. It still can provide about 80% of the designed functions and capabilities.
Biefeld, Eric; Cooper, Lynne
The scheduling of Space Station Freedom must satisfy four major requirements. It must ensure efficient housekeeping operations, maximize the collection of science, respond to changes in tasking and available resources, and accommodate the above changes in a manner that minimizes disruption of the ongoing operations of the station. While meeting these requirements the scheduler must cope with the complexity, scope, and flexibility of SSF operations. This requires the scheduler to deal with an astronomical number of possible schedules. The Operations Mission Planner (OMP) is centered around minimally disruptive replanning and the use of heuristics limit search in scheduling. OMP has already shown several artificial intelligence based scheduling techniques such as Interleaved Iterative Refinement and Bottleneck Identification using Process Chronologies.
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a high-performance astronomical telescope system designed to operate in low-Earth orbit. It is approximately 43 feet long, with a diameter of 10 feet at the forward end and 14 feet at the aft end. Weight at launch was approximately 25,000 pounds. In principle, it is no different than the reflecting telescopes in ground-based astronomical observatories. Like ground-based telescopes, the HST was designed as a general-purpose instrument, capable of using a wide variety of scientific instruments at its focal plane. This multi-purpose characteristic allows the HST to be used as a national facility, capable of supporting the astronomical needs of an international user community. The telescope s planned useful operational lifetime is 15 years, during which it will make observations in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared portions of the spectrum. The extended operational life of the HST is possible by using the capabilities of the Space Transportation System to periodically visit the HST on-orbit to replace failed or degraded components, install instruments with improved capabilities, re-boost the HST to higher altitudes compensating for gravitational effects, and to bring the HST back to Earth when the mission is terminated. The largest ground-based observatories, such as the 200-inch aperture Hale telescope at Palomar Mountain, California, can recognize detail in individual galaxies several billion light years away. However, like all earthbound devices, the Hale telescope is limited because of the blurring effect of the Earth s atmosphere. Further, the wavelength region observable from the Earth s surface is limited by the atmosphere to the visible part of the spectrum. The very important ultraviolet portion of the spectrum is lost. The HST uses a 2.4-meter reflective optics system designed to capture data over a wavelength region that reaches far into the ultraviolet and infrared portions of the spectrum.
Trimble, Jay Phillip; Crocker, Alan R.
In 2006, NASA Ames Research Center's (ARC) Intelligent Systems Division, and NASA Johnson Space Centers (JSC) Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) began a collaboration to move user applications for JSC's mission control center to a new software architecture, intended to replace the existing user applications being used for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. It must also carry NASA/JSC mission operations forward to the future, meeting the needs for NASA's exploration programs beyond low Earth orbit. Key requirements for the new architecture, called Mission Control Technologies (MCT) are that end users must be able to compose and build their own software displays without the need for programming, or direct support and approval from a platform services organization. Developers must be able to build MCT components using industry standard languages and tools. Each component of MCT must be interoperable with other components, regardless of what organization develops them. For platform service providers and MOD management, MCT must be cost effective, maintainable and evolvable. MCT software is built from components that are presented to users as composable user objects. A user object is an entity that represents a domain object such as a telemetry point, a command, a timeline, an activity, or a step in a procedure. User objects may be composed and reused, for example a telemetry point may be used in a traditional monitoring display, and that same telemetry user object may be composed into a procedure step. In either display, that same telemetry point may be shown in different views, such as a plot, an alpha numeric, or a meta-data view and those views may be changed live and in place. MCT presents users with a single unified user environment that contains all the objects required to perform applicable flight controller tasks, thus users do not have to use multiple applications, the traditional boundaries that exist between multiple heterogeneous
Kelder, H.; Goede, A.; van Weele, M.
The ESA project CAPACITY refers to future Operational Atmospheric Chemistry Monitoring Missions. Here operational is meant in the sense that a reliable service of specified information products can be established that satisfies user needs. Monitoring is meant in the sense that long-term continuity and consistency in the quality of the information products can be achieved. The objectives of the project are: To consult with user communities to develop high level information requirements and the form of the information products. To identify and prioritise mission objectives. To derive mission data requirements from the high level user information requirements and iterate these with the users. To set these requirements against observation systems available or approved for the future. To identify missing information products or information products of insufficient quality. To define a global observation system that would satisfy user requirements. The time frame of this operational system is projected to cover the period 2010 to 2020 concurrent with the operational satellites MetOp and NPOESS. In order to address these objectives a large European consortium has been formed consisting of approximately 30 partners from 9 ESA countries (F, D, UK, I, SW, N, DK, B, NL). The project is led by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the core team includes the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Univ Leicester, Univ Bremen and industry. Four application areas are identified: Protocol Monitoring (Montreal and Kyoto) and Policy Support Air Quality Monitoring and Policy Support (CLRTAP) Long Term Science Issues and Climate Monitoring Forecast Capacity In the derivation of data level 2/3 requirements from high level user requirements the consortium relies on a large group of modellers using satellite data, and of space research institutes with expertise in retrieval and calibration/validation of satellite data as well as Industry with experience in building space
Tran, Daniel Q.
Space mission operations are extremely labor and knowledge-intensive and are driven by the ground and flight systems. Inclusion of an autonomy capability can have dramatic effects on mission operations. We describe the prior, labor and knowledge intensive mission operations flow for the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft as well as the new autonomous operations as part of the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment.
Overall view of Mission Operations Control Room in Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) during the ceremonies aboard the U.S.S. Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 13 mission. The Apollo 13 spacecraft, with Astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert, and Fred Haise aboard splashed down in the South Pacific at 12:07:44 p.m., April 17, 1970.
Sigurd A. Sjoberg, Director of Flight Operations at Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), views the Apollo 13 liftoff from a console in the MSC Mission Control Center, bldg 30. Apollo 13 lifted off at 1:13 p.m., April 11, 1970 (34627); Astronaut Thomas F. Mattingly II, who was scheduled as a prime crewman for the Apollo 13 mission but was replaced in the final hours when it was discovered he had been exposed to measles, watches the liftoff phase of the mission. He is seated at a console in the Mission Control Center's Mission Operations Control Room. Scientist-Astronaut Joseph P. Kerwin, a spacecraft communicator for the mission, looks on at right (34628).
Malin, Jane T.
This slide presentation reviews the development of software agents to support of mission operations teamwork. The goals of the work was to make automation by agents easy to use, supervise and direct, manage information and communication to decrease distraction, interruptions, workload and errors, reduce mission impact of off-nominal situations and increase morale and decrease turnover. The accomplishments or the project are: 1. Collaborative agents - mixed initiative and creation of instructions for mediating agent 2. Methods for prototyping, evaluating and evolving socio-technical systems 3. Technology infusion: teamwork tools in mISSIons 4. Demonstrations in simulation testbed An example of the use of agent is given, the use of an agent to monitor a N2 tank leak. An incomplete instruction to the agent is handled with mediating assistants, or Intelligent Briefing and Response Assistant (IBRA). The IBRA Engine also watches data stream for triggers and executes Act-Whenever actions. There is also a Briefing and Response Instruction (BRI) which is easy for a discipline specialist to create through a BRI editor.
Truszkowski, Walt; Odubiyi, Jide
As we plan for the next generation of Mission Operations Control Center (MOCC) systems, there are many opportunities for the increased utilization of innovative knowledge-based technologies. The innovative technology discussed is an advanced use of agent-oriented approaches to the automation of mission operations. The paper presents an overview of this technology and discusses applied operational scenarios currently being investigated and prototyped. A major focus of the current work is the development of a simple user mechanism that would empower operations staff members to create, in real time, software agents to assist them in common, labor intensive operations tasks. These operational tasks would include: handling routine data and information management functions; amplifying the capabilities of a spacecraft analyst/operator to rapidly identify, analyze, and correct spacecraft anomalies by correlating complex data/information sets and filtering error messages; improving routine monitoring and trend analysis by detecting common failure signatures; and serving as a sentinel for spacecraft changes during critical maneuvers enhancing the system's capabilities to support nonroutine operational conditions with minimum additional staff. An agent-based testbed is under development. This testbed will allow us to: (1) more clearly understand the intricacies of applying agent-based technology in support of the advanced automation of mission operations and (2) access the full set of benefits that can be realized by the proper application of agent-oriented technology in a mission operations environment. The testbed under development addresses some of the data management and report generation functions for the Explorer Platform (EP)/Extreme UltraViolet Explorer (EUVE) Flight Operations Team (FOT). We present an overview of agent-oriented technology and a detailed report on the operation's concept for the testbed.
Trimble, Jay Phillip
The Resource Prospector Mission seeks to rove the lunar surface with an in-situ resource utilization payload in search of volatiles at a polar region. The mission operations system (MOS) will need to perform the short-duration mission while taking advantage of the near real time control that the short one-way light time to the Moon provides. To maximize our use of limited resources for the design and development of the MOS we are utilizing agile and lean methods derived from our previous experience with applying these methods to software. By using methods such as "say it then sim it" we will spend less time in meetings and more time focused on the one outcome that counts - the effective utilization of our assets on the Moon to meet mission objectives.
Miller, Eric; Paulsen, Phillip E.; Pasciuto, Michael
The science community is interested in improving their ability to respond to rapidly evolving, transient phenomena via autonomous rapid reconfiguration, which derives from the ability to assemble separate but collaborating sensors and data forecasting systems to meet a broad range of research and application needs. Current satellite systems typically require human intervention to respond to triggers from dissimilar sensor systems. Additionally, satellite ground services often need to be coordinated days or weeks in advance. Finally, the boundaries between the various sensor systems that make up such a Sensor Web are defined by such things as link delay and connectivity, data and error rate asymmetry, data reliability, quality of service provisions, and trust, complicating autonomous operations. Over the past ten years, researchers from the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), General Dynamics, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), Cisco, Universal Space Networks (USN), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Naval Research Laboratory, the DoD Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office, and others have worked collaboratively to develop a virtual mission operations capability. Called VMOC (Virtual Mission Operations Center), this new capability allows cross-system queuing of dissimilar mission unique systems through the use of a common security scheme and published application programming interfaces (APIs). Collaborative VMOC demonstrations over the last several years have supported the standardization of spacecraft to ground interfaces needed to reduce costs, maximize space effects to the user, and allow the generation of new tactics, techniques and procedures that lead to responsive space employment.
Landshof, J. A.; Harvey, R. J.; Marshall, M. H.
Despite our awareness of the mission design process, spacecraft historically have been designed and developed by one team and then turned over as a system to the Mission Operations organization to operate on-orbit. By applying concurrent engineering techniques and envisioning operability as an essential characteristic of spacecraft design, tradeoffs can be made in the overall mission design to minimize mission lifetime cost. Lessons learned from previous spacecraft missions will be described, as well as the implementation of concurrent mission operations and spacecraft engineering for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) program.
Meshkat, Leila; Ruszkowski, James; Haensly, Jean; Pennington, Granvil A.; Hogle, Charles
The Transferable, Adaptable, Modular and Upgradeable (TAMU) Flight Production Process (FPP) is a model-centric System of System (SoS) framework which cuts across multiple organizations and their associated facilities, that are, in the most general case, in geographically diverse locations, to develop the architecture and associated workflow processes for a broad range of mission operations. Further, TAMU FPP envisions the simulation, automatic execution and re-planning of orchestrated workflow processes as they become operational. This paper provides the vision for the TAMU FPP paradigm. This includes a complete, coherent technique, process and tool set that result in an infrastructure that can be used for full lifecycle design and decision making during any flight production process. A flight production process is the process of developing all products that are necessary for flight.
Welz, Linda L.; Witkowski, Mona M.; Bruno, Kristin J.; Potts, Sherrill S.
Mission Operations and Command Assurance (MO&CA) is a Total Quality Management (TQM) task on JPL projects to instill quality in flight mission operations. From a system engineering view, MO&CA facilitates communication and problem-solving among flight teams and provides continuous process improvement to reduce the probability of radiating incorrect commands to a spacecraft. The MO&CA task has evolved from participating as a member of the spacecraft team to an independent team reporting directly to flight project management and providing system level assurance. JPL flight projects have benefited significantly from MO&CA's effort to contain risk and prevent rather than rework errors. MO&CA's ability to provide direct transfer of knowledge allows new projects to benefit from previous and ongoing flight experience.
Welz, Linda L.; Witkowski, Mona M.; Bruno, Kristin J.; Potts, Sherrill S.
Mission Operations and Command Assurance (MO&CA) is a Total Quality Management (TQM) task on JPL projects to instill quality in flight mission operations. From a system engineering view, MO&CA facilitates communication and problem-solving among flight teams and provides continuous process improvement to reduce the probability of radiating incorrect commands to a spacecraft. The MO&CA task has evolved from participating as a member of the spacecraft team to an independent team reporting directly to flight project management and providing system level assurance. JPL flight projects have benefited significantly from MO&CA's effort to contain risk and prevent rather than rework errors. MO&CA's ability to provide direct transfer of knowledge allows new projects to benefit from previous and ongoing flight experience.
Sunseri, Richard F.; Wu, Hsi-Cheng; Evans, Scott E.; Evans, James R.; Drain, Theodore R.; Guevara, Michelle M.
Monte is a software set designed for use in mission design and spacecraft navigation operations. The system can process measurement data, design optimal trajectories and maneuvers, and do orbit determination, all in one application. For the first time, a single software set can be used for mission design and navigation operations. This eliminates problems due to different models and fidelities used in legacy mission design and navigation software. The unique features of Monte 040 include a blowdown thruster model for GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) with associated pressure models, as well as an updated, optimalsearch capability (COSMIC) that facilitated mission design for ARTEMIS. Existing legacy software lacked the capabilities necessary for these two missions. There is also a mean orbital element propagator and an osculating to mean element converter that allows long-term orbital stability analysis for the first time in compiled code. The optimized trajectory search tool COSMIC allows users to place constraints and controls on their searches without any restrictions. Constraints may be user-defined and depend on trajectory information either forward or backwards in time. In addition, a long-term orbit stability analysis tool (morbiter) existed previously as a set of scripts on top of Monte. Monte is becoming the primary tool for navigation operations, a core competency at JPL. The mission design capabilities in Monte are becoming mature enough for use in project proposals as well as post-phase A mission design. Monte has three distinct advantages over existing software. First, it is being developed in a modern paradigm: object- oriented C++ and Python. Second, the software has been developed as a toolkit, which allows users to customize their own applications and allows the development team to implement requirements quickly, efficiently, and with minimal bugs. Finally, the software is managed in accordance with the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model
Boyles, Carole A.; Bindschadler, Duane L.
A conventional practice for spaceflight projects is to document scenarios in a monolithic Operations Concept document. Such documents can be hundreds of pages long and may require laborious updates. Software development practice utilizes scenarios in the form of smaller, individual use cases, which are often structured and managed using UML. We have developed a process and a web-based scenario tool that utilizes a similar philosophy of smaller, more compact scenarios (but avoids the formality of UML). The need for a scenario process and tool became apparent during the authors' work on a large astrophysics mission. It was noted that every phase of the Mission (e.g., formulation, design, verification and validation, and operations) looked back to scenarios to assess completeness of requirements and design. It was also noted that terminology needed to be clarified and structured to assure communication across all levels of the project. Attempts to manage, communicate, and evolve scenarios at all levels of a project using conventional tools (e.g., Excel) and methods (Scenario Working Group meetings) were not effective given limitations on budget and staffing. The objective of this paper is to document the scenario process and tool created to offer projects a low-cost capability to create, communicate, manage, and evolve scenarios throughout project development. The process and tool have the further benefit of allowing the association of requirements with particular scenarios, establishing and viewing relationships between higher- and lower-level scenarios, and the ability to place all scenarios in a shared context. The resulting structured set of scenarios is widely visible (using a web browser), easily updated, and can be searched according to various criteria including the level (e.g., Project, System, and Team) and Mission Phase. Scenarios are maintained in a web-accessible environment that provides a structured set of scenario fields and allows for maximum
Bell, Mary S.
The purpose of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission 16 in 2012 was to evaluate and compare the performance of a defined series of representative near-Earth asteroid (NEA) extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks under different conditions and combinations of work systems, constraints, and assumptions considered for future human NEA exploration missions. NEEMO 16 followed NASA's 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS), the primary focus of which was understanding the implications of communication latency, crew size, and work system combinations with respect to scientific data quality, data management, crew workload, and crew/mission control interactions. The 1-g environment precluded meaningful evaluation of NEA EVA translation, worksite stabilization, sampling, or instrument deployment techniques. Thus, NEEMO missions were designed to provide an opportunity to perform a preliminary evaluation of these important factors for each of the conditions being considered. NEEMO 15 also took place in 2011 and provided a first look at many of the factors, but the mission was cut short due to a hurricane threat before all objectives were completed. ARES Directorate (KX) personnel consulted with JSC engineers to ensure that high-fidelity planetary science protocols were incorporated into NEEMO mission architectures. ARES has been collaborating with NEEMO mission planners since NEEMO 9 in 2006, successively building upon previous developments to refine science operations concepts within engineering constraints; it is expected to continue the collaboration as NASA's human exploration mission plans evolve.
Stansbery, E. K.
The Genesis mission, launched in August 2001, is collecting samples of the solar wind and will return to Earth in 2004. Genesis can be viewed as the most fundamental of NASA's sample return missions because it is expected to provide insight into the initial elemental and isotopic composition of the solar nebula from which all other planetary objects formed. The data from this mission will have a large impact on understanding the origins and diversity of planetary materials. The collectors consist of clean, pure materials into which the solar wind will imbed. Science and engineering issues such as bulk purity, cleanliness, retention of solar wind, and ability to withstand launch and entry drove material choices. Most of the collector materials are installed on array frames that are deployed from a clean science canister. Two of the arrays are continuously exposed for collecting the bulk solar wind; the other three are only exposed during specific solar wind regimes as measured by ion and electron monitors. Other materials are housed as targets at the focal point of an electrostatic mirror, or "concentrator", designed to enhance the flux of specific solar wind species. Johnson Space Center (JSC) has two principal responsibilities for the Genesis mission: contamination control and curation. Precise and accurate measurements of the composition of the solar atoms require that the collector materials be extremely clean and well characterized before launch and during the mission. Early involvement of JSC curation personnel in concept development resulted in a mission designed to minimize contaminants from the spacecraft and operations. A major goal of the Genesis mission is to provide a reservoir of materials for the 21 51 century. When the collector materials are returned to Earth, they must be handled in a clean manner and their condition well documented. Information gained in preliminary examination of the arrays and detailed surveys of each collector will be used to
NASA and Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) officials join the flight controllers in celebrating the conclusion of the Apollo 11 mission. From left foreground Dr. Maxime A. Faget, MSC Director of Engineering and Development; George S. Trimble, MSC Deputy Director; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC Director fo Flight Operations; Julian Scheer (in back), Assistant Adminstrator, Office of Public Affairs, NASA HQ.; George M. Low, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program, MSC; Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director; and Charles W. Mathews, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA HQ.
Robert E. Castle, integrated communications officer (INCO), at a console in the JSC mission operations control room (MOCR) in the mission control center. He is responsible for ground controlled television from the orbiter on his shift for 41-B.
Mendell, W. W.; Griffith, A. D.
necessary precursor to human missions to Mars. He observed that mission parameters for Mars expeditions far exceed current and projected near-term space operations experience in categories such as duration, scale, logistics, required system reliability, time delay for communications, crew exposure to the space environment (particularly reduced gravity), lack of abort-to-Earth options, degree of crew isolation, and long-term political commitment. He demonstrated how a program of lunar exploration could be structured to expand the experience base, test operations approaches, and validate proposed technologies. In this paper, we plan to expand the discussion on the topic of mission operations, including flight and trajectory design, crew activity planning, procedure development and validation, and initialization load development. contemplating the nature of the challenges posed by a mission with a single crew lasting 3 years with no possibility of abort to Earth and at a distance where the light-time precludes conversation between with the astronauts. The brief durations of Apollo or Space Shuttle missions mandates strict scheduling of in-space tasks to maximize the productivity. On a mission to Mars, the opposite obtains. Transit times are long (~160 days), and crew time may be principally devoted to physical conditioning and repeated simulations of the landing sequence. While the physical exercise parallels the experience on the International Space Station (ISS), the remote refresher training is new. The extensive surface stay time (~500 days) implies that later phases of the surface missions will have to be planned in consultation with the crew to a large extent than is currently the case. resolve concerns over the form of new methodologies and philosophies needed. Recent proposed reductions in scope and crew size for ISS exacerbate this problem. One unknown aspect is whether any sociological pathologies will develop in the relationship of the crew to Mission
Layback, Sharon L.
For planning of Mars surface missions, to be operated on a sol-by-sol basis by a team on Earth (where a "sol" is a Martian day), activities are described in terms of "sol types" that are strung together to build a surface mission scenario. Some sol types require ground decisions based on a previous sol's results to feed into the activity planning ("ground in the loop"), while others do not. Due to the differences in duration between Earth days and Mars sols, for a given Mars local solar time, the corresponding Earth time "walks" relative to the corresponding times on the prior sol/day. In particular, even if a communication window has a fixed Mars local solar time, the Earth time for that window will be approximately 40 minutes later each succeeding day. Further complexity is added for non-Mars synchronous communication relay assets, and when there are multiple control centers in different Earth time zones. The solution is the development of "ops efficiency factors" that reflect the efficiency of a given operations configuration (how many and location of control centers, types of communication windows, synchronous or non-synchronous nature of relay assets, sol types, more-or-less sustainable operations schedule choices) against a theoretical "optimal" operations configuration for the mission being studied. These factors are then incorporated into scenario models in order to determine the surface duration (and therefore minimum spacecraft surface lifetime) required to fulfill scenario objectives. The resulting model is used to perform "what-if" analyses for variations in scenario objectives. The ops efficiency factor is the ratio of the figure of merit for a given operations factor to the figure of merit for the theoretical optimal configuration. The current implementation is a pair of models in Excel. The first represents a ground operations schedule for 500 sols in each operations configuration for the mission being studied (500 sols was chosen as being a long
Undergraduate students Kristina Wines and Dena Renzo at Rensselaer Poloytech Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, monitor the progress of the Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE) during the U.S. Microgravity Payload-4 (USMP-4) mission (STS-87), Nov. 19 - Dec.5, 1997). Remote Operations Control Center (ROCC) like this one will become more common during operations with the International Space Station. The Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE), flown on three Space Shuttle missions, is yielding new insights into virtually all industrially relevant metal and alloy forming operations. Photo credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Baldi, Andrea; Elgaard, Dennis; Lynenskjold, Steen; Pecchioli, Mauro
The Spacecraft Control and Operations System 2 (SCOSII) is the new generation of Mission Control Systems (MCS) to be used at ESOC. The system is generic because it offers a collection of standard functions configured through a database upon which a dedicated MCS is established for a given mission. An integral component of SCOSII is the support of a dedicated Operations Language (OL). The spacecraft operation engineers edit, test, validate, and install OL scripts as part of the configuration of the system with, e.g., expressions for computing derived parameters and procedures for performing flight operations, all without involvement of software support engineers. A layered approach has been adopted for the implementation centered around the explicit representation of a data model. The data model is object-oriented defining the structure of the objects in terms of attributes (data) and services (functions) which can be accessed by the OL. SCOSII supports the creation of a mission model. System elements as, e.g., a gyro are explicit, as are the attributes which described them and the services they provide. The data model driven approach makes it possible to take immediate advantage of this higher-level of abstraction, without requiring expansion of the language. This article describes the background and context leading to the OL, concepts, language facilities, implementation, status and conclusions found so far.
Fox, Jeffrey A.; Hoxie, Mary Sue; Gillen, Dave; Parkinson, Christopher; Breed, Julie; Nickens, Stephanie; Baitinger, Mick
The current climate of budget cuts has forced the space mission operations community to reconsider how it does business. Gone are the days of building one-of-kind control centers with teams of controllers working in shifts 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Increasingly, automation is used to significantly reduce staffing needs. In some cases, missions are moving towards lights-out operations where the ground system is run semi-autonomously. On-call operators are brought in only to resolve anomalies. Some operations concepts also call for smaller operations teams to manage an entire family of spacecraft. In the not too distant future, a skeleton crew of full-time general knowledge operators will oversee the operations of large constellations of small spacecraft, while geographically distributed specialists will be assigned to emergency response teams based on their expertise. As the operations paradigms change, so too must the tools to support the mission operations team's tasks. Tools need to be built not only to automate routine tasks, but also to communicate varying types of information to the part-time, generalist, or on-call operators and specialists more effectively. Thus, the proper design of a system's user-system interface (USI) becomes even more importance than before. Also, because the users will be accessing these systems from various locations (e.g., control center, home, on the road) via different devices with varying display capabilities (e.g., workstations, home PCs, PDAS, pagers) over connections with various bandwidths (e.g., dial-up 56k, wireless 9.6k), the same software must have different USIs to support the different types of users, their equipment, and their environments. In other words, the software must now adapt to the needs of the users! This paper will focus on the needs and the challenges of designing USIs for mission operations. After providing a general discussion of these challenges, the paper will focus on the current efforts of
Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center, bldg 30, Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), at the conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. The television monitor shows President Richard M. Nixon greeting the Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the U.S.S. Hornet in the Pacific recovery area (40301); NASA and MSC Officials join the flight controllers in celebrating the conclusion of the Apollo 11 mission. From left foreground Dr. Maxime A. Faget, MSC Director of Engineering and Development; George S. Trimble, MSC Deputy Director; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC Director fo Flight Operations; Julian Scheer (in back), Assistant Adminstrator, Offic of Public Affairs, NASA HQ.; George M. Low, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program, MSC; Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director; and Charles W. Mathews, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA HQ (40302).
Wright, J.; Hartman, F.; Cooper, B.
Immersive environments are just beginning to be used to support mission operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This technology contributed to the Mars Pathfinder Mission in planning sorties for the Sojourner rover.
Reynolds, Walter F.; Lucord, Steven A.; Stevens, John E.
This slide presentation reviews the operations concepts of the command (action) services. Since the consequences of sending the wrong command are unacceptable, the command system provides a collaborative and distributed work environment for flight controllers and operators. The system prescribes a review and approval process where each command is viewed by other individuals before being sent to the vehicle. The action service needs additional capabilities to support he operations concepts of manned space flight. These are : (1) Action Service methods (2) Action attributes (3) Action parameter/argument attributes (4 ) Support for dynamically maintained action data. (5) Publish subscri be capabilities.
Jones, Michael K.
This paper describes a command and control architecture that encompasses space mission operations centers, ground terminals, and spacecraft. This architecture is intended to promote the growth of a lucrative space mission operations command and control market through a set of open standards used by both gevernment and profit-making space mission operators.
Rabideau, Gregg; Tran, Daniel Q.; Chien, Steve; Cichy, Benjamin; Sherwood, Rob; Mandl, Dan; Frye, Stuart; Shulman, Seth; Szwaczkowski, Joseph; Boyer, Darrell; VanGaasbeck, Jim
Space mission operations are extremely labor and knowledge-intensive and are driven by the ground and flight systems. Inclusion of an autonomy capability can have dramatic effects on mission operations. We describe the past mission operations flow for the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft as well as the more autonomous operations to which we transferred as part of the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE).
Bass, Deborah; Lauback, Sharon; Mishkin, Andrew; Limonadi, Daniel
A document describes a system of processes involved in planning, commanding, and monitoring operations of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The system is designed to minimize command turnaround time, given that inherent uncertainties in terrain conditions and in successful completion of planned landed spacecraft motions preclude planning of some spacecraft activities until the results of prior activities are known by the ground-based operations team. The processes are partitioned into those (designated as tactical) that must be tied to the Martian clock and those (designated strategic) that can, without loss, be completed in a more leisurely fashion. The tactical processes include assessment of downlinked data, refinement and validation of activity plans, sequencing of commands, and integration and validation of sequences. Strategic processes include communications planning and generation of long-term activity plans. The primary benefit of this partition is to enable the tactical portion of the team to focus solely on tasks that contribute directly to meeting the deadlines for commanding the rover s each sol (1 sol = 1 Martian day) - achieving a turnaround time of 18 hours or less, while facilitating strategic team interactions with other organizations that do not work on a Mars time schedule.
Martin, Keith; Sen-Roy, Michael; Heiman, Jennifer
Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center is a space vehicle, space program agnostic facility. The current operational design is essentially identical to the original facility architecture that was developed and deployed in the mid-90's. In an effort to streamline the support costs of the mission critical facility, the Mission Operations Division (MOD) of Johnson Space Center (JSC) has sponsored an exploratory project to evaluate and inject current state-of-the-practice Information Technology (IT) tools, processes and technology into legacy operations. The general push in the IT industry has been trending towards a data-centric computer infrastructure for the past several years. Organizations facing challenges with facility operations costs are turning to creative solutions combining hardware consolidation, virtualization and remote access to meet and exceed performance, security, and availability requirements. The Operations Technology Facility (OTF) organization at the Johnson Space Center has been chartered to build and evaluate a parallel Mission Control infrastructure, replacing the existing, thick-client distributed computing model and network architecture with a data center model utilizing virtualization to provide the MCC Infrastructure as a Service. The OTF will design a replacement architecture for the Mission Control Facility, leveraging hardware consolidation through the use of blade servers, increasing utilization rates for compute platforms through virtualization while expanding connectivity options through the deployment of secure remote access. The architecture demonstrates the maturity of the technologies generally available in industry today and the ability to successfully abstract the tightly coupled relationship between thick-client software and legacy hardware into a hardware agnostic "Infrastructure as a Service" capability that can scale to meet future requirements of new space programs and spacecraft. This paper discusses the benefits
Huebner, H.; Ferri, P.; Wimmer, W.
EURECA is a retrievable space platform which can perform multi-disciplinary scientific and technological experiments in a Low Earth Orbit for a typical mission duration of six to twelve months. It is deployed and retrieved by the NASA Space Shuttle and is designed to support up to five flights. The first mission started at the end of July 1992 and was successfully completed with the retrieval in June 1993. The operations concept and the ground segment for the first EURECA mission are briefly introduced. The experiences in the preparation and the conduction of the mission from the flight control team point of view are described.
Havens, Glen G.; Beerer, Joseph G.
NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, to understand the internal structure and thermal evolution of the Moon, offered unique challenges to mission operations. From launch through end of mission, the twin GRAIL orbiters had to be operated in parallel. The journey to the Moon and into the low science orbit involved numerous maneuvers, planned on tight timelines, to ultimately place the orbiters into the required formation-flying configuration necessary. The baseline GRAIL mission is short, only 9 months in duration, but progressed quickly through seven very unique mission phases. Compressed into this short mission timeline, operations activities and maneuvers for both orbiters had to be planned and coordinated carefully. To prepare for these challenges, development of the GRAIL Mission Operations System began in 2008. Based on high heritage multi-mission operations developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin, the GRAIL mission operations system was adapted to meet the unique challenges posed by the GRAIL mission design. This paper describes GRAIL's system engineering development process for defining GRAIL's operations scenarios and generating requirements, tracing the evolution from operations concept through final design, implementation, and validation.
Arrieta, Juan; Attiyah, Amy; Beswick, Robert; Gerasimantos, Dimitrios
The space mission design and operations community already recognizes the value of cloud computing and virtualization. However, natural and valid concerns, like security, privacy, up-time, and vendor lock-in, have prevented a more widespread and expedited adoption into official workflows. In the interest of alleviating these concerns, we propose a series of guidelines for internally deploying a resource-oriented hub of data and algorithms. These guidelines provide a roadmap for implementing an architecture inspired in the cloud computing model: associative, elastic, semantical, interconnected, and adaptive. The architecture can be summarized as exposing data and algorithms as resource-oriented Web services, coordinated via messaging, and running on virtual machines; it is simple, and based on widely adopted standards, protocols, and tools. The architecture may help reduce common sources of complexity intrinsic to data-driven, collaborative interactions and, most importantly, it may provide the means for teams and agencies to evaluate the cloud computing model in their specific context, with minimal infrastructure changes, and before committing to a specific cloud services provider.
Havens, Glen G.; Beerer, Joseph G.
The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has placed two orbiters in a low altitude polar orbit around the moon to study its internal structure. GRAIL mission to the Moon offered unique challenges to operatiotn: (1) operate twin-orbiters in parallel, (2) numerous maneuvers, (3) short, compact mission with six unique phases, and (4) detailed contingency planning required.
Deutsch, Marie-Jose; Komarek, Tom; Lopez, Saturnino; Townes, Steve; Synnott, Steve; Austin, Richard; Guinn, Joe; Varghese, Phil; Edwards, Bernard; Bondurant, Roy; De Paula, Ramon
The Mars Telecom Orbiter (MTO) relay capability enables next decadal missions at Mars, collecting gigabits of data a day to be relayed back at speeds exceeding 4 Mbps and it facilitates small missions whose limited resources do not permit them to have a direct link to Earth.
Dias, William C.
Missions are being proposed which involve landing a varying number (anywhere from one to 24) of small mobile spacecraft on Mars. Mission proposals include sample returns, in situ geochemistry and geology, and instrument deployment functions. This paper discusses changes needed in traditional space operations methods for support of rover operations. Relevant differences include more frequent commanding, higher risk acceptance, streamlined procedures, and reliance on additional spacecraft autonomy, advanced fault protection, and prenegotiated decisions. New methods are especially important for missions with several Mars rovers operating concurrently against time limits. This paper also discusses likely mission design limits imposed by operations constraints .
The functions of Payload Operations Control Centers (POCC) at JSC, GSFC, JPL, and non-NASA locations are analyzed to establish guidelines for standardization, and facilitate the development of a fully integrated NASA-wide system of ground facilities for all classes of payloads. Operational interfaces between the space transportation system operator and the payload operator elements are defined. The advantages and disadvantages of standardization are discussed.
Burk, Thomas A.
Operating spacecraft is a never-ending challenge and the risk of human error is ever- present. Many missions have been significantly affected by human error on the part of ground controllers. The Cassini mission at Saturn has not been immune to human error, but Cassini operations engineers use tools and follow processes that find and correct most human errors before they reach the spacecraft. What is needed are skilled engineers with good technical knowledge, good interpersonal communications, quality ground software, regular peer reviews, up-to-date procedures, as well as careful attention to detail and the discipline to test and verify all commands that will be sent to the spacecraft. Two areas of special concern are changes to flight software and response to in-flight anomalies. The Cassini team has a lot of practical experience in all these areas and they have found that well-trained engineers with good tools who follow clear procedures can catch most errors before they get into command sequences to be sent to the spacecraft. Finally, having a robust and fault-tolerant spacecraft that allows ground controllers excellent visibility of its condition is the most important way to ensure human error does not compromise the mission.
Davidson, Roger A.; Curran, Patrick S.
Although millions of dollars have helped to improve the operability and technology of ground data systems for mission operations, almost all mission documentation remains bound in printed volumes. This form of documentation is difficult and timeconsuming to use, may be out-of-date, and is usually not cross-referenced with other related volumes of mission documentation. A more effective, automated method of mission information access is needed. A new method of information management for mission operations using automated keyword referencing is proposed. We expound on the justification for and the objectives of this concept. The results of a prototype tool for mission information access that uses a hypertextlike user interface and existing mission documentation are shared. Finally, the future directions and benefits of our proposed work are described.
Magellan was successfully launched by the Space Shuttle Atlantis from the Kennedy Space Center at 2:47 p.m. EDT on May 4, 1989. The Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster and attached Magellan Spacecraft were successfully deployed from Atlantis on Rev. 5 as planned, at 06:14 hrs Mission Elapsed Time (MET). The two IUS propulsion burns which began at 07:14 hrs MET and were completed at 07:22 hrs MET, placed the Magellan Spacecraft almost perfectly on its preplanned trajectory to Venus. The IUS was jettisoned at 07:40 hrs MET and Magellan telemetry was immediately acquired by the Deep Space Network (DSN). A spacecraft trajectory correction maneuver was performed on May 21 and the spacecraft is in the planned standard cruise configuration with all systems operating nominally. An initial attempt was made to launch Atlantis on April 28, 1989, but the launch was scrubbed at T-31 sec due to a failure of the liquid hydrogen recirculation pump on Space Shuttle Main Engine #1. The countdown had proceeded smoothly until T-20 min when the Magellan radio receiver "locked-on" the MIL 71 Unified S-Band (USB) transmission as the transmitter power was increased fro 2 kw to 10 kw in support of the orbiter launch. During the planned hold at T-9 min, the USB was confirmed as the source of the receiver "lock" and Magellan's launch readiness was reaffirmed. In addition a five-minute extension of the T-9 hold occurred when a range safety computer went off-line, creating a loss of redundancy in the range safety computer network. Following resumption of the countdown, both the orbiter and Magellan flows proceeded smoothly until the launch was scrubbed at T-31 sec.
Kudrle, Paul D.; Welz, Gregory A.; Basilio, Eleanor
The Ground Segment Team (GST), at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, provides high-level mission operations concepts and cost estimates for projects that are in the formulation phase. GST has developed a tool to track costs, assumptions, and mission requirements, and to rapidly turnaround estimates for mission operations, ground data systems, and tracking for deep space and near Earth missions. Estimates that would often take several weeks to generate are now generated in minutes through the use of an integrated suite of cost models. The models were developed through interviews with domain experts in areas of Mission Operations, including but not limited to: systems engineering, payload operations, tracking resources, mission planning, navigation, telemetry and command, and ground network infrastructure. Data collected during interviews were converted into parametric cost models and integrated into one tool suite. The tool has been used on a wide range of missions from small Earth orbiters, to flagship missions like Cassini. The tool is an aid to project managers and mission planners as they consider different scenarios during the proposal and early development stages of their missions. The tool is also used for gathering cost related requirements and assumptions and for conducting integrated analysis of multiple missions.
President Ronald Reagan gets a laugh from NASA officials in Mission Control when he jokingly asks crew members, astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly if they could stop by Washington en route to their California landing site in order that he might come along. The STS-2 crew was in their next to last day on orbit when the conversation took place. From left to right standing: Terry J. Hart, NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Hans Mark, NASA Administrator James M. Beggs, JSC Director Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr. From left to right seated: CAPCOM, Astronaut Daniel C. Brandenstein President, Ronald Reagan Directly above the President in the background: JSC Flight Operations Director, Eugene F. Kranz
Hunt, Joseph C., Jr.; Cheng, Leo Y.
One of the most challenging tasks in a space science mission is designing the Mission Operations System (MOS). Whereas the focus of the project is getting the spacecraft built and tested for launch, the mission operations engineers must build a system to carry out the science objectives. The completed MOS design is then formally assessed in the many reviews. Once a mission has completed the reviews, the Mission Operation System (MOS) design has been validated to the Functional Requirements and is ready for operations. The design was built based on heritage processes, new technology, and lessons learned from past experience. Furthermore, our operational concepts must be properly mapped to the mission design and science objectives. However, during the course of implementing the science objective in the operations phase after launch, the MOS experiences an evolutional change to adapt for actual performance characteristics. This drives the re-engineering of the MOS, because the MOS includes the flight and ground segments. Using the Spitzer mission as an example we demonstrate how the MOS design evolved for both the prime and extended mission to enhance the overall efficiency for science return. In our re-engineering process, we ensured that no requirements were violated or mission objectives compromised. In most cases, optimized performance across the MOS, including gains in science return as well as savings in the budget profile was achieved. Finally, we suggest a need to better categorize the Operations Phase (Phase E) in the NASA Life-Cycle Phases of Formulation and Implementation
Maks, Lori; Breed, Julie; Rackley, Michael; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)
NASA is particularly concerned with reducing mission operations costs through increased automation. This paper examines the operations procedures within NASA Mission Control Centers in order to uncover the level of automation that currently exists within them. Based on an assessment of mission operations procedures within three representative control centers, this paper recommends specific areas where there is potential for mission cost reduction through increased automation.
Chung, Seung H.; Bindschadler, Duane L.
Some of the challenges in developing a mission operations system and operating a mission can be traced back to the challenge of integrating a mission operations system from its many components and to the challenge of maintaining consistent and accountable information throughout the operations processes. An important contributing factor to both of these challenges is the file-centric nature of today's systems. In this paper, we provide an overview of these challenges and argue the need to move toward an information-centric mission operations system. We propose an information representation called Timeline as an approach to enable such a move, and we provide an overview of a Timeline-based Mission Operations System architecture.
Patterson, E S; Watts-Perotti, J; Woods, D D
Voice loops, an auditory groupware technology, are essential coordination support tools for experienced practitioners in domains such as air traffic management, aircraft carrier operations and space shuttle mission control. They support synchronous communication on multiple channels among groups of people who are spatially distributed. In this paper, we suggest reasons for why the voice loop system is a successful medium for supporting coordination in space shuttle mission control based on over 130 hours of direct observation. Voice loops allow practitioners to listen in on relevant communications without disrupting their own activities or the activities of others. In addition, the voice loop system is structured around the mission control organization, and therefore directly supports the demands of the domain. By understanding how voice loops meet the particular demands of the mission control environment, insight can be gained for the design of groupware tools to support cooperative activity in other event-driven domains. PMID:12269347
Patterson, E. S.; Watts-Perotti, J.; Woods, D. D.
Voice loops, an auditory groupware technology, are essential coordination support tools for experienced practitioners in domains such as air traffic management, aircraft carrier operations and space shuttle mission control. They support synchronous communication on multiple channels among groups of people who are spatially distributed. In this paper, we suggest reasons for why the voice loop system is a successful medium for supporting coordination in space shuttle mission control based on over 130 hours of direct observation. Voice loops allow practitioners to listen in on relevant communications without disrupting their own activities or the activities of others. In addition, the voice loop system is structured around the mission control organization, and therefore directly supports the demands of the domain. By understanding how voice loops meet the particular demands of the mission control environment, insight can be gained for the design of groupware tools to support cooperative activity in other event-driven domains.
Mandl, Dan; Howard, Joseph
The New Millennium Program's first Earth-observing mission (EO-1) is a technology validation mission. It is managed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and is scheduled for launch in the summer of 2000. The purpose of this mission is to flight-validate revolutionary technologies that will contribute to the reduction of cost and increase of capabilities for future land imaging missions. In the EO-1 mission, there are five instrument, five spacecraft, and three supporting technologies to flight-validate during a year of operations. EO-1 operations and the accompanying ground system were intended to be simple in order to maintain low operational costs. For purposes of formulating operations, it was initially modeled as a small science mission. However, it quickly evolved into a more complex mission due to the difficulties in effectively integrating all of the validation plans of the individual technologies. As a consequence, more operational support was required to confidently complete the on-orbit validation of the new technologies. This paper will outline the issues and lessons learned applicable to future technology validation missions. Examples of some of these include the following: (1) operational complexity encountered in integrating all of the validation plans into a coherent operational plan, (2) initial desire to run single shift operations subsequently growing to 6 "around-the-clock" operations, (3) managing changes in the technologies that ultimately affected operations, (4) necessity for better team communications within the project to offset the effects of change on the Ground System Developers, Operations Engineers, Integration and Test Engineers, S/C Subsystem Engineers, and Scientists, and (5) the need for a more experienced Flight Operations Team to achieve the necessary operational flexibility. The discussion will conclude by providing several cost comparisons for developing operations from previous missions to EO-1 and
Longanecker, G. W.
This article suggests that in order to be able to exercise control over a particular program, the program itself must be controllable. A controllable program therefore, according to the author, is one that has been properly scoped technically, realistically scheduled, and adequately budgeted. The article delves indepth into each of the above aspects of a controllable program and discusses both the pros and cons of each.
Sierhuis, Maarten; Clancey, William J.; Seah, Chin; Trimble, Jay P.; Sims, Michael H.
Work System analysis and design is complex and non-deterministic. In this paper we describe Brahms, a multiagent modeling and simulation environment for designing complex interactions in human-machine systems. Brahms was originally conceived as a business process design tool that simulates work practices, including social systems of work. We describe our modeling and simulation method for mission operations work systems design, based on a research case study in which we used Brahms to design mission operations for a proposed discovery mission to the Moon. We then describe the results of an actual method application project-the Brahms Mars Exploration Rover. Space mission operations are similar to operations of traditional organizations; we show that the application of Brahms for space mission operations design is relevant and transferable to other types of business processes in organizations.
Fischer, D.; Bargellini, P.; Merri, M.
Next-generation European earth observation missions will play a critical role in public safety and security infrastructures. This makes it necessary for ESA to protect the communication infrastructure of these missions in order to guarantee their service availability. In this paper, we discuss the development process for a generic earth observation security concept. This concept has been developed as part of a GMES Flight Operation Segment security study with the objective to analyse and select a number of high level security requirements for the missions. Further, we studied the impact of an implementation for these requirements on the operational infrastructure of current earth observation missions.
Fox, J.; Moore, M.
Traditionally, spacecraft management has been performed by fixed teams of operators in Mission Operations Centers. The team cooperatively (1) ensures that payload(s) on spacecraft perform their work and (2) maintains the health and safety of the spacecraft through commanding and monitoring the spacecraft`s subsystems. In the future, the task demands will increase and overload the operators. This paper describes the traditional spacecraft management environment and describes a new concept in which groupware will be used to create a Virtual Mission Operations Center. Groupware tools will be used to better utilize available resources through increased automation and dynamic sharing of personnel among missions.
Fox, Jeffrey; Moore, Mike
Traditionally, spacecraft management has been performed by fixed teams of operators in Mission Operations Centers. The team cooperatively: (1) ensures that payload(s) on spacecraft perform their work; and (2) maintains the health and safety of the spacecraft through commanding and monitoring the spacecraft's subsystems. In the future, the task demands will increase and overload the operators. This paper describes the traditional spacecraft management environment and describes a new concept in which groupware will be used to create a Virtual Mission Operations Center. Groupware tools will be used to better utilize available resources through increased automation and dynamic sharing of personnel among missions.
Durrani, Sajjad H.; Perkins, Dorothy C.; Carlton, P. Douglas
Increased complexity of space missions during the 1980s led to the introduction of expert systems and advanced automation techniques in mission operations. This paper describes several technologies in operational use or under development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center. Several expert systems are described that diagnose faults, analyze spacecraft operations and onboard subsystem performance (in conjunction with neural networks), and perform data quality and data accounting functions. The design of customized user interfaces is discussed, with examples of their application to space missions. Displays, which allow mission operators to see the spacecraft position, orientation, and configuration under a variety of operating conditions, are described. Automated systems for scheduling are discussed, and a testbed that allows tests and demonstrations of the associated architectures, interface protocols, and operations concepts is described. Lessons learned are summarized.
An overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center on the first day of the Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) docking in Earth orbit mission. The American ASTP flight controllers at JSC were monitoring the progress of the Soviet ASTP launch when this photograph was taken. The television monitor shows Cosmonaut Yuri V. Romanenko at his spacecraft communicator's console in the ASTP mission control center in the Soviet Union.
Portions of the LANDSAT-D systems operation plan are presented. An overview of the data processing operations, logistics and other operations support, prelaunch and post-launch activities, thematic mapper operations during the scrounge period, and LANDSAT-D performance evaluation is given.
Antonucci, Rob; Waktola, Waka
Middleware technologies have been promoted as timesaving, cost-cutting alternatives to the point-to-point communication used in traditional mission operations systems. However, missions have been slow to adopt the new technology. The lack of existing middleware-based missions has given rise to uncertainty about middleware's ability to perform in an operational setting. Most mission architects are also unfamiliar with the technology and do not know the benefits and detriments to architectural choices - or even what choices are available. We will present the findings of a study that evaluated several middleware options specifically for use in a mission operations system. We will address some common misconceptions regarding the applicability of middleware-based architectures, and we will identify the design decisions and tradeoffs that must be made when choosing a middleware solution. The Middleware Comparison and Benchmark Study was conducted at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to comprehensively evaluate candidate middleware products, compare and contrast the performance of middleware solutions with the traditional point- to-point socket approach, and assess data delivery and reliability strategies. The study focused on requirements of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, validating the potential use of middleware in the GPM mission ground system. The study was jointly funded by GPM and the Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC), a virtual organization for providing mission enabling solutions and promoting the use of appropriate new technologies for mission support. The study was broken into two phases. To perform the generic middleware benchmarking and performance analysis, a network was created with data producers and consumers passing data between themselves. The benchmark monitored the delay, throughput, and reliability of the data as the characteristics were changed. Measurements were taken under a variety of topologies, data demands
Noonan, C. H.; Mcintosh, R. J.; Rowe, J. N.; Defazio, R. L.; Galal, K. F.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-8 spacecraft was launched on April 13, 1994, at 06:04:02 coordinated universal time (UTC), with separation from the Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle occurring at 06:33:05 UTC. The launch was followed by a series of complex, intense operations to maneuver the spacecraft into its geosynchronous mission orbit. The Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF) of the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Flight Dynamics Division (FDD) was responsible for GOES-8 attitude, orbit maneuver, orbit determination, and station acquisition support during the ascent phase. This paper summarizes the efforts of the FDF support teams and highlights some of the unique challenges the launch team faced during critical GOES-8 mission support. FDF operations experience discussed includes: (1) The abort of apogee maneuver firing-1 (AMF-1), cancellation of AMF-3, and the subsequent replans of the maneuver profile; (2) The unexpectedly large temperature dependence of the digital integrating rate assembly (DIRA) and its effect on GOES-8 attitude targeting in support of perigee raising maneuvers; (3) The significant effect of attitude control thrusting on GOES-8 orbit determination solutions; (4) Adjustment of the trim tab to minimize torque due to solar radiation pressure; and (5) Postlaunch analysis performed to estimate the GOES-8 separation attitude. The paper also discusses some key FDF GOES-8 lessons learned to be considered for the GOES-J launch which is currently scheduled for May 19, 1995.
Beven, G.; Vander Ark, S. T.; Holland, A. W.
Since NASA began human presence on the International Space Station (ISS) in November 1998, crews have spent two to seven months onboard. In March 2015 NASA and Russia embarked on a new era of ISS utilization, with two of their crewmembers conducting a one-year mission onboard ISS. The mission has been useful for both research and mission operations to better understand the human, technological, mission management and staffing challenges that may be faced on missions beyond Low Earth Orbit. The work completed during the first 42 ISS missions provided the basis for the pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight work completed by NASA's Space Medicine Operations Division, while our Russian colleagues provided valuable insights from their long-duration mission experiences with missions lasting 10-14 months, which predated the ISS era. Space Medicine's Behavioral Health and Performance Group (BHP) provided pre-flight training, evaluation, and preparation as well as in-flight psychological support for the NASA crewmember. While the BHP team collaboratively planned for this mission with the help of all ISS international partners within the Human Behavior and Performance Working Group to leverage their collective expertise, the US and Russian BHP personnel were responsible for their respective crewmembers. The presentation will summarize the lessons and experience gained within the areas identified by this Working Group as being of primary importance for a one-year mission.
Heiligman, G. M.; Brock, D. R.; Culp, S. D.; Decker, P. H.; Estrada, J. C.; Graybeal, J. B.; Nichols, D. M.; Paluzzi, P. R.; Sharer, P. J.; Pampell, R. J.; Papke, B. L.; Salovich, R. D.; Schlappe, S. B.; Spriestersbach, K. K.; Webb, G. L.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will be delivered with a computerized mission control system (MCS). The MCS communicates with the aircraft's flight management system and coordinates the operations of the telescope assembly, mission-specific subsystems, and the science instruments. The software for the MCS must be reliable and flexible. It must be easily usable by many teams of observers with widely differing needs, and it must support non-intrusive access for education and public outreach. The technology must be appropriate for SOFIA's 20-year lifetime. The MCS software development process is an object-oriented, use case driven approach. The process is iterative: delivery will be phased over four "builds"; each build will be the result of many iterations; and each iteration will include analysis, design, implementation, and test activities. The team is geographically distributed, coordinating its work via Web pages, teleconferences, T.120 remote collaboration, and CVS (for Internet-enabled configuration management). The MCS software architectural design is derived in part from other observatories' experience. Some important features of the MCS are: * distributed computing over several UNIX and VxWorks computers * fast throughput of time-critical data * use of third-party components, such as the Adaptive Communications Environment (ACE) and the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) * extensive configurability via stored, editable configuration files * use of several computer languages so developers have "the right tool for the job". C++, Java, scripting languages, Interactive Data Language (from Research Systems, Int'l.), XML, and HTML will all be used in the final deliverables. This paper reports on work in progress, with the final product scheduled for delivery in 2001. This work was performed for Universities Space Research Association for NASA under contract NAS2-97001.
An overall view of the group of Soviet Union flight controllers who served at the Mission Control Center during the joint U.S.-USSR Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) docking in Earth orbit mission. They are applauding the successful touchdown of the Soyuz spacecraft in Central Asia. The television monitor had just shown the land landing of the Soyuz descent vehicle.
Erickson, K. D.
It will not be possible to support the multiple planetary missions of the magnitude and order of previous missions on the basis of foreseeable NASA funding. It is, therefore, necessary to seek innovative means for accomplishing the goals of planetary exploration with modestly allocated resources. In this connection, a Core Program set of planetary exploration missions has been recommended. Attention is given to a Mission Operations design overview which is based on the Mars Geoscience/Climatology Orbiter Phase-A study performed during spring of 1983.
Trimble, Jay; Walton, Joan; Saddler, Harry
Current mission operations systems are built as a collection of monolithic software applications. Each application serves the needs of a specific user base associated with a discipline or functional role. Built to accomplish specific tasks, each application embodies specialized functional knowledge and has its own data storage, data models, programmatic interfaces, user interfaces, and customized business logic. In effect, each application creates its own walled-off environment. While individual applications are sometimes reused across multiple missions, it is expensive and time consuming to maintain these systems, and both costly and risky to upgrade them in the light of new requirements or modify them for new purposes. It is even more expensive to achieve new integrated activities across a set of monolithic applications. These problems impact the lifecycle cost (especially design, development, testing, training, maintenance, and integration) of each new mission operations system. They also inhibit system innovation and evolution. This in turn hinders NASA's ability to adopt new operations paradigms, including increasingly automated space systems, such as autonomous rovers, autonomous onboard crew systems, and integrated control of human and robotic missions. Hence, in order to achieve NASA's vision affordably and reliably, we need to consider and mature new ways to build mission control systems that overcome the problems inherent in systems of monolithic applications. The keys to the solution are modularity and interoperability. Modularity will increase extensibility (evolution), reusability, and maintainability. Interoperability will enable composition of larger systems out of smaller parts, and enable the construction of new integrated activities that tie together, at a deep level, the capabilities of many of the components. Modularity and interoperability together contribute to flexibility. The Mission Control Technologies (MCT) Project, a collaboration of
The primary objective of the STS-35 mission was round the clock observation of the celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-Ray astronomy with the Astro-1 observatory which consisted of four telescopes: the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT); the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE); the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT); and the Broad Band X-Ray Telescope (BBXRT). The Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) Spacelab Payload Operations Control Center (SL POCC) at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) was the air/ground communication channel used between the astronauts and ground control teams during the Spacelab missions. Teams of controllers and researchers directed on-orbit science operations, sent commands to the spacecraft, received data from experiments aboard the Space Shuttle, adjusted mission schedules to take advantage of unexpected science opportunities or unexpected results, and worked with crew members to resolve problems with their experiments. Due to loss of data used for pointing and operating the ultraviolet telescopes, MSFC ground teams were forced to aim the telescopes with fine tuning by the flight crew. Pictured onboard the shuttle is astronaut Robert Parker using a Manual Pointing Controller (MPC) for the ASTRO-1 mission Instrument Pointing System (IPS).
NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean talks with astronaut Alvin Drew who is participating in the Autonomous Mission Operations test, which looks at how communication delays will affect future de...
Werking, R. D.; Beck, J.; Gardner, D.; Moyer, P.; Plett, M.
A description of the attitude control support being supplied by the Mission and Data Operations Directorate is presented. Descriptions of the computer programs being used to support the mission for attitude determination, prediction, control, and definitive attitude processing are included. In addition, descriptions of the operating procedures which will be used to accomplish mission objectives are provided.
Overall view of Mission Operations Control Room in Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) during the ceremonies aboard the U.S.S. Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 13 mission. Dr. Donald K. Slayton (in black shirt, left of center), Director of Flight Crew Operations at MSC, and Chester M. Lee of the Apollo Program Directorate, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA Headquarters, shake hands, while Dr. Rocco A. Petrone, Apollo Program Director, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA Headquarters (standing, near Lee), watches the large screen showing Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., Apollo 13 commander, during the on-board ceremonies. In the foreground, Glynn S. Lunney (extreme left) and Eugene F. Kranz (smoking a cigar), two Apollo 13 Flight Directors, view the activity from their consoles.
Madden, Maureen; Cary, Everett, Jr.; Esposito, Timothy; Parker, Jeffrey; Bradley, David
NASA's Small Explorers (SMEX) satellites have surpassed their designed science-lifetimes and their flight operations teams are now facing the challenge of continuing operations with reduced funding. At present, these missions are being re-engineered into a fleet-oriented ground system at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). When completed, this ground system will provide command and control of four SMEX missions and will demonstrate fleet automation and control concepts. As a path-finder for future mission consolidation efforts, this ground system will also demonstrate new ground-based technologies that show promise of supporting longer mission lifecycles and simplifying component integration. One of the core technologies being demonstrated in the SMEX Mission Operations Center is the GSFC Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) architecture. The GMSEC architecture uses commercial Message Oriented Middleware with a common messaging standard to realize a higher level of component interoperability, allowing for interchangeable components in ground systems. Moreover, automation technologies utilizing the GMSEC architecture are being evaluated and implemented to provide extended lights-out operations. This mode of operation will provide routine monitoring and control of the heterogeneous spacecraft fleet. The operational concepts being developed will reduce the need for staffed contacts and is seen as a necessity for fleet management. This paper will describe the experiences of the integration team throughout the re-enginering effort of the SMEX ground system. Additionally, lessons learned will be presented based on the team's experiences with integrating multiple missions into a fleet-automated ground system.
Holdridge, Mark E.; Calloway, Andrew B.
On August 3, 2004, at 2:15 a.m. EST, the MESSENGER mission to Mercury began with liftoff of the Delta II 7925H launch vehicle and 1,107-kg spacecraft including seven instruments. MESSENGER is the seventh in the series of NASA Discovery missions, the third to be built and operated by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) following the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker and Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) missions. The MESSENGER team at JHU/APL is using efficient operations approaches developed in support of the low-cost NEAR and CONTOUR operations while incorporating improved approaches for reducing total mission risk. This paper provides an overview of the designs and operational practices implemented to conduct the MESSENGER mission safely and effectively. These practices include proven approaches used on past JHU/APL operations and new improvements implemented to reduce risk, including adherence to time-proven standards of conduct in the planning and implementation of the mission. This paper also discusses the unique challenges of operating in orbit around Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, and what specific measures are being taken to address those challenges.
Norris, Jeffrey; Powell, Mark; Fox, Jason; Rabe, Kenneth; Shu, IHsiang; McCurdy, Michael; Vera, Alonso
Ensemble is the name of an open architecture for, and a methodology for the development of, spacecraft mission operations software. Ensemble is also potentially applicable to the development of non-spacecraft mission-operations- type software. Ensemble capitalizes on the strengths of the open-source Eclipse software and its architecture to address several issues that have arisen repeatedly in the development of mission-operations software: Heretofore, mission-operations application programs have been developed in disparate programming environments and integrated during the final stages of development of missions. The programs have been poorly integrated, and it has been costly to develop, test, and deploy them. Users of each program have been forced to interact with several different graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Also, the strategy typically used in integrating the programs has yielded serial chains of operational software tools of such a nature that during use of a given tool, it has not been possible to gain access to the capabilities afforded by other tools. In contrast, the Ensemble approach offers a low-risk path towards tighter integration of mission-operations software tools.
The Air Force minute sensor technology integration (MSTI-3) satellite's primary mission is to characterize Earth's atmospheric background clutter. MSTI-3 will use three cameras for data collection, a mid-wave infrared imager, a short wave infrared imager, and a visible imaging spectrometer. Mission science objectives call for the collection of over 2 million images within the one year mission life. In addition, operational constraints limit camera usage to four operations of twenty minutes per day, with no more than 10,000 data and calibrating images collected per day. To balance the operational constraints and science objectives, the mission planning team has designed a planning process to e event schedules and sensor operation timelines. Each set of constraints, including spacecraft performance capabilities, the camera filters, the geographical regions, and the spacecraft-Sun-Earth geometries of interest, and remote tracking station deconflictions has been accounted for in this methodology. To aid in this process, the mission planning team is building a series of tools from commercial off-the-shelf software. These include the mission manifest which builds a daily schedule of events, and the MSTI Scene Simulator which helps build geometrically correct scans. These tools provide an efficient, responsive, and highly flexible architecture that maximizes data collection while minimizing mission planning time.
Kelly, Angelita; Moyer, Eric; Mantziaras, Dimitrios; Case, Warren
The Terra satellite, flagship of NASA's long-term Earth Observing System (EOS) Program, continues to provide useful earth science observations well past its 5-year design lifetime. This paper describes the evolution of Terra operations, including challenges and successes and the steps taken to preserve science requirements and prolong spacecraft life. Working cooperatively with the Terra science and instrument teams, including NASA's international partners, the mission operations team has successfully kept the Terra operating continuously, resolving challenges and adjusting operations as needed. Terra retains all of its observing capabilities (except Short Wave Infrared) despite its age. The paper also describes concepts for future operations. This paper will review the Terra spacecraft mission successes and unique spacecraft component designs that provided significant benefits extending mission life and science. In addition, it discusses special activities as well as anomalies and corresponding recovery efforts. Lastly, it discusses future plans for continued operations.
Dalton, John T.; Hughes, Peter M.
Advance technologies for Mission Control Centers are presented in the form of the viewgraphs. The following subject areas are covered: technology needs; current technology efforts at GSFC (human-machine interface development, object oriented software development, expert systems, knowledge-based software engineering environments, and high performance VLSI telemetry systems); and test beds.
Yglesias, J. A.
Retrieval of the solar maximum mission (SMM) observatory is feasible in terms of orbiter primary reaction control system (PRCS) plume disturbance of the SMM, orbiter propellant consumed, and flight time required. Man-in-loop simulations will be required to validate these operational techniques before the verification process is complete. Candidate approach and flyaround techniques were developed that allow the orbiter to attain the proper alinement with the SMM for clear access to the grapple fixture (GF) prior grappling. Because the SMM has very little control authority (approximately 14.8 pound-foot-seconds in two axes and rate-damped in the third) it is necessary to inhibit all +Z (upfiring) PRCS jets on the orbiter to avoid tumbling the SMM. A profile involving a V-bar approach and an out-of-plane flyaround appears to be the best choice and is recommended at this time. The flyaround technique consists of alining the +X-axes of the two vehicles parallel with each other and then flying the orbiter around the SMM until the GF is in view. The out-of-plane flyaround technique is applicable to any inertially stabilized payload, and, the entire final approach profile could be considered as standard for most retrieval missions.
User oriented space transportation system-payload mission control concepts are developed for optimum contribution of ground flight control support to onboard capability to meet STS payload objectives in a cost effective manner. Flight control ground functions are identified for representative payloads. Present and planned NASA facilities for payload control are investigated. Cost effective system concept options are determined for flight control of the payloads. Implementation guidelines are developed for proposed system concept options. Joint preflight activities are identified. Composite joint resources are identified.
Medical support during crisis response operations should follow state-of-the-art standards of medicine, but at the same time to take into account more difficult conditions for medical care providing. The results of treatment of patients during crisis response operations should lead to results as close as possible to peacetime treatment. Multinationality has been working well in the Sipovo Multinational Integrated Medical Unit (MIMU) in Bosnia and Herzegovina until now. The mutual co-operation of nations results in a reduction in terms of personnel and material for all participants. It allows efficient use of resources and could be a model for Role 3 care in other hospitals. It has proven to be greater than the sum of its parts. The MIMU concept can be considered a cornerstone that guarantees the required continuity and stability. PMID:15462068
Hoffman, Stephen J.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has begun evaluating various mission and system components of possible implementations of what the U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee (also known as the Augustine Committee) has named the flexible path (Anon., 2009). As human spaceflight missions expand further into deep space, the duration of these missions increases to the point where a dedicated crew habitat element appears necessary. There are several destinations included in this flexible path a near Earth asteroid (NEA) mission, a Phobos/Deimos (Ph/D) mission, and a Mars surface exploration mission that all include at least a portion of the total mission in which the crew spends significant periods of time (measured in months) in the deep space environment and are thus candidates for a dedicated habitat element. As one facet of a number of studies being conducted by the Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) a workshop was conducted to consider how best to define and quantify habitable volume for these future deep space missions. One conclusion reached during this workshop was the need for a description of the scope and scale of these missions and the intended uses of a habitat element. A group was set up to prepare a concept of operations document to address this need. This document describes a concept of operations for a habitat element used for these deep space missions. Although it may eventually be determined that there is significant overlap with this concept of operations and that of a habitat destined for use on planetary surfaces, such as the Moon and Mars, no such presumption is made in this document.
Repaci, Max; Baker, Paul; Brosi, Fred
Automating the data transfer operation can significantly reduce the cost of moving data from a spacecraft to a location on Earth. Automated data transfer methods have been developed for the terrestrial Internet. However, they often do not apply to the space environment, since in general they are based on assumptions about connectivity that are true on the Internet but not on space links. Automated file transfer protocols have been developed for use over space links that transfer data via store-and-forward of files or segments of files. This paper investigates some of the operational concepts made possible by these protocols.
Jones, Patricia M.
This paper describes a cooperative approach to the design of intelligent automation and describes the Mission Operations Cooperative Assistant for NASA Goddard flight operations. The cooperative problem solving approach is being explored currently in the context of providing support for human operator teams and also in the definition of future advanced automation in ground control systems.
Breed, Juile; Coyle, Steven; Blahut, Kevin; Dent, Carolyn; Shendock, Robert; Rowe, Roger
The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) mission is the second mission in NASA's Office of Space Science low-cost, Medium-class Explorers (MIDEX) program. The Explorers Program is designed to accomplish frequent, low cost, high quality space science investigations utilizing innovative, streamlined, efficient management, design and operations approaches. The MAP spacecraft will produce an accurate full-sky map of the cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations with high sensitivity and angular resolution. The MAP spacecraft is planned for launch in early 2001, and will be staffed by only single-shift operations. During the rest of the time the spacecraft must be operated autonomously, with personnel available only on an on-call basis. Four (4) innovations will work cooperatively to enable a significant reduction in operations costs for the MAP spacecraft. First, the use of a common ground system for Spacecraft Integration and Test (I&T) as well as Operations. Second, the use of Finite State Modeling for intelligent autonomy. Third, the integration of a graphical planning engine to drive the autonomous systems without an intermediate manual step. And fourth, the ability for distributed operations via Web and pager access.
Chien, Steve A.; Tran, Daniel; Rabideau, Gregg; Schaffer, Steve; Mandl, Daniel; Frye, Stuart
We describe the modeling and reasoning about operations constraints in an automated mission planning system for an earth observing satellite - EO-1. We first discuss the large number of elements that can be naturally represented in an expressive planning and scheduling framework. We then describe a number of constraints that challenge the current state of the art in automated planning systems and discuss how we modeled these constraints as well as discuss tradeoffs in representation versus efficiency. Finally we describe the challenges in efficiently generating operations plans for this mission. These discussions involve lessons learned from an operations model that has been in use since Fall 2004 (called R4) as well as a newer more accurate operations model operational since June 2009 (called R5). We present analysis of the R5 software documenting a significant (greater than 50%) increase in the number of weekly observations scheduled by the EO-1 mission. We also show that the R5 mission planning system produces schedules within 15% of an upper bound on optimal schedules. This operational enhancement has created value of millions of dollars US over the projected remaining lifetime of the EO-1 mission.
Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel
As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less labor-power rises. Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Like a tow-truck delivering gas to a car on the road, the "servicing" satellite of OE had to find the "client" from several kilometers away, connect directly to the client, and transfer fluid (or a battery) autonomously, while on earth-orbit. The mission met 100% of its success criteria, and proved that autonomous satellite servicing is now a reality for space operations. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. As the constraints for execution could change weekly, daily, and even hourly, the tools used create the mission execution plans needed to be flexible and adaptable to many different kinds of changes. At the same time, the hard constraints of the plans needed to be maintained and satisfied. The Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, an overview of the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the NASA's Earth Observing One mission's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.
The Solar-A mission is a Japanese-led program with the participation of the United States and the United Kingdom. The Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) is providing the Solar-A spacecraft, two of the four science instruments, the launch vehicle and launch support, and the principal ground station with Operational Control Center. NASA is providing a science instrument, the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT)and tracking support using the Deep Space Network (DSN) ground stations. The United Kingdom s Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) provides the Bragg Crystal Spectrometer. The Solar-A mission will study solar flares using a cluster of instruments on a satellite in a 600 km altitude, 31 degree inclination circular orbit. The emphasis of the mission is on imaging and spectroscopy of hard and soft X-rays. The principal instruments are a pair of X-ray imaging instruments, one for the hard X-ray range and one for the soft X-ray range. The Hard X-Ray Telescope (HXT), provided by ISAS, operates in the energy range of 10-100 keV and uses an array of modulation collimators to record Fourier transform images of the non-thermal and hot plasmas that are formed during the early phases of a flare. These images are thought to be intimately associated with the sites of primary energy release. The Soft X-Ray Telescope (SXT), jointly provided by NASA and ISAS, operates in the wavelength range of 3-50 Angstroms and uses a grazing incidence mirror to form direct images of the lower temperature (but still very hot) plasmas that form as the solar atmosphere responds to the injection of energy. The SXT instrument is a joint development effort between the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The U.S. effort also involves Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Hawaii, who provide support in the areas of theory, data analysis and interpretation, and ground
Scott, Charles P.; Wilson, Robert K.
Spitzer Space Telescope was launched on 25 August 2003 into an Earth-trailing solar orbit to acquire infrared observations from space. Development of the Mission Operations System (MOS) portion prior to launch was very different from planetary missions from the stand point that the MOS teams and Ground Data System had to be ready to support all aspects of the mission at launch (i.e., no cruise period for finalizing the implementation). For Spitzer, all mission-critical events post launch happen in hours or days rather than months or years, as is traditional with deep space missions. At the end of 2000 the Project was dealt a major blow when the Mission Operations System (MOS) had an unsuccessful Critical Design Review (CDR). The project made major changes at the beginning of 2001 in an effort to get the MOS (and Project) back on track. The result for the Spitzer Space Telescope was a successful launch of the observatory followed by an extremely successful In Orbit Checkout (IOC) and operations phase. This paper describes how the project was able to recover the MOS to a successful Delta (CDR) by mid 2001, and what changes in philosophies, experiences, and lessons learned followed. It describes how projects must invest early or else invest heavily later in the development phase to achieve a successful operations phase.
Weidner, R. J.; Lee, M.; Lynnes, C.
Multi-mission observation operator (M2O2) system facilitates simultaneous assimilation of the retrieved atmospheric components from multiple missions by streamlining the interface between model systems and observation data services. The M2O2 system is composed of two types of transformation services, a data transformation service that composes assimilation information from the level 2 mission data products, and a model transformation service that provides multi-mission observation force function integrating the assimilation information from the data transformation service. The prototype M2O2 system was employed for simultaneous assimilation of Ozone observations from Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and Tropospheric emission sounder (TES) with the GEOSChem-adjoint model system. Under NASA's Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS) program, we are developing an operational M2O2 service as an integral part of the Goddard Earth System Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) utilizing the "on-demand" quality filtering and file format conversion capabilities. In this paper, we discuss the M2O2 web-service-protocol that allows customization of mission-unique quality control, data field extraction, and data product integration, and the M2O2 assimilation software layer that interacts with the M2O2 web-service and delivers mission-independent assimilation information to the model community.
Hayden, Sandra C.; Tumer, Irem
Mission-critical events are defined in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory s Flight Project Practices as those sequences of events which must succeed in order to attain mission goals. These are dependent on the particular operational concept and design reference mission, and are especially important when committing to irreversible events. Critical events include main engine cutoff (MECO) after launch; engine cutoff or parachute deployment on entry, descent, and landing (EDL); orbital insertion; separation of payload from vehicle or separation of booster segments; maintenance of pointing accuracy for power and communication; and deployment of solar arrays and communication antennas. The purpose of this paper is to report on the current practices in handling mission-critical events in design and operations at major NASA spaceflight centers. The scope of this report includes NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), with staff at each center consulted on their current practices, processes, and procedures.
Azbell, James A.
In support of the Space Shuttle Program, as well as NASA s other human space flight programs, the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) at the Johnson Space Center has become the world leader in human spaceflight operations. From the earliest programs - Mercury, Gemini, Apollo - through Skylab, Shuttle, ISS, and our Exploration initiatives, MOD and its predecessors have pioneered ops concepts and emphasized a history of mission leadership which has added value, maximized mission success, and built on continual improvement of the capabilities to become more efficient and effective. MOD s focus on building and contributing value with diverse teams has been key to their successes both with the US space industry and the broader international community. Since their beginning, MOD has consistently demonstrated their ability to evolve and respond to an ever changing environment, effectively prepare for the expected and successfully respond to the unexpected, and develop leaders, expertise, and a culture that has led to mission and Program success.
In support of the Space Shuttle Program, as well as NASA's other human space flight programs, the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) at the Johnson Space Center has become the world leader in human spaceflight operations. From the earliest programs - Mercury, Gemini, Apollo - through Skylab, Shuttle, ISS, and our Exploration initiatives, MOD and its predecessors have pioneered ops concepts and emphasized a history of mission leadership which has added value, maximized mission success, and built on continual improvement of the capabilities to become more efficient and effective. MOD's focus on building and contributing value with diverse teams has been key to their successes both with the US space industry and the broader international community. Since their beginning, MOD has consistently demonstrated their ability to evolve and respond to an ever changing environment, effectively prepare for the expected and successfully respond to the unexpected, and develop leaders, expertise, and a culture that has led to mission and Program success.
Barreiro, J.; Chachere, J.; Frank, J.; Bertels, C.; Crocker, A.
The exploration of space is one of the most fascinating domains to study from a human factors perspective. Like other complex work domains such as aviation (Pritchett and Kim, 2008), air traffic management (Durso and Manning, 2008), health care (Morrow, North, and Wickens, 2006), homeland security (Cooke and Winner, 2008), and vehicle control (Lee, 2006), space exploration is a large-scale sociotechnical work domain characterized by complexity, dynamism, uncertainty, and risk in real-time operational contexts (Perrow, 1999; Woods et al, 1994). Nearly the entire gamut of human factors issues - for example, human-automation interaction (Sheridan and Parasuraman, 2006), telerobotics, display and control design (Smith, Bennett, and Stone, 2006), usability, anthropometry (Chaffin, 2008), biomechanics (Marras and Radwin, 2006), safety engineering, emergency operations, maintenance human factors, situation awareness (Tenney and Pew, 2006), crew resource management (Salas et al., 2006), methods for cognitive work analysis (Bisantz and Roth, 2008) and the like -- are applicable to astronauts, mission control, operational medicine, Space Shuttle manufacturing and assembly operations, and space suit designers as they are in other work domains (e.g., Bloomberg, 2003; Bos et al, 2006; Brooks and Ince, 1992; Casler and Cook, 1999; Jones, 1994; McCurdy et al, 2006; Neerincx et aI., 2006; Olofinboba and Dorneich, 2005; Patterson, Watts-Perotti and Woods, 1999; Patterson and Woods, 2001; Seagull et ai, 2007; Sierhuis, Clancey and Sims, 2002). The human exploration of space also has unique challenges of particular interest to human factors research and practice. This chapter provides an overview of those issues and reports on some of the latest research results as well as the latest challenges still facing the field.
Stamminger, A.; Ettl, J.; Grosse, J.; Horschgen-Eggers, M.; Jung, W.; Kallenbach, A.; Raith, G.; Saedtler, W.; Seidel, S. T.; Turner, J.; Wittkamp, M.
In November 2015, the DLR Mobile Rocket Base will launch the MAIUS-1 rocket vehicle at Esrange, Northern Sweden. The MAIUS-A experiment is a pathfinder atom optics experiment. The scientific objective of the mission is the first creation of a BoseEinstein Condensate in space and performing atom interferometry on a sounding rocket . MAIUS-1 comprises a two-stage unguided solid propellant VSB-30 rocket motor system. The vehicle consists of a Brazilian 53 1 motor as 1 st stage, a 530 motor as 2nd stage, a conical motor adapter, a despin module, a payload adapter, the MAIUS-A experiment consisting of five experiment modules, an attitude control system module, a newly developed conical service system, and a two-staged recovery system including a nosecone. In contrast to usual payloads on VSB-30 rockets, the payload has a diameter of 500 mm due to constraints of the scientific experiment. Because of this change in design, a blunted nosecone is necessary to guarantee the required static stability during the ascent phase of the flight. This paper will give an overview on the subsystems which have been built at DLR MORABA, especially the newly developed service system. Further, it will contain a description of the MAIUS-1 vehicle, the mission and the unique requirements on operations and attitude control, which is additionally required to achieve a required attitude with respect to the nadir vector. Additionally to a usual microgravity environment, the MAIUS-l payload requires attitude control to achieve a required attitude with respect to the nadir vector.
The Second International Symposium featured 135 oral presentations in these 12 categories: Future Missions and Operations; System-Level Architectures; Mission-Specific Systems; Mission and Science Planning and Sequencing; Mission Control; Operations Automation and Emerging Technologies; Data Acquisition; Navigation; Operations Support Services; Engineering Data Analysis of Space Vehicle and Ground Systems; Telemetry Processing, Mission Data Management, and Data Archiving; and Operations Management. Topics focused on improvements in the productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of mission operations, ground systems, and data acquisition. Also emphasized were accomplishments in management of human factors; use of information systems to improve data retrieval, reporting, and archiving; design and implementation of logistics support for mission operations; and the use of telescience and teleoperations.
Mishkin, Andrew; Larsen, Barbara
Two very different deep space exploration missions--Mars Exploration Rover and Cassini--have made use of distributed operations for their science teams. In the case of MER, the distributed operations capability was implemented only after the prime mission was completed, as the rovers continued to operate well in excess of their expected mission lifetimes; Cassini, designed for a mission of more than ten years, had planned for distributed operations from its inception. The rapid command turnaround timeline of MER, as well as many of the operations features implemented to support it, have proven to be conducive to distributed operations. These features include: a single science team leader during the tactical operations timeline, highly integrated science and engineering teams, processes and file structures designed to permit multiple team members to work in parallel to deliver sequencing products, web-based spacecraft status and planning reports for team-wide access, and near-elimination of paper products from the operations process. Additionally, MER has benefited from the initial co-location of its entire operations team, and from having a single Principal Investigator, while Cassini operations have had to reconcile multiple science teams distributed from before launch. Cassini has faced greater challenges in implementing effective distributed operations. Because extensive early planning is required to capture science opportunities on its tour and because sequence development takes significantly longer than sequence execution, multiple teams are contributing to multiple sequences concurrently. The complexity of integrating inputs from multiple teams is exacerbated by spacecraft operability issues and resource contention among the teams, each of which has their own Principal Investigator. Finally, much of the technology that MER has exploited to facilitate distributed operations was not available when the Cassini ground system was designed, although later adoption
Gershman, R.; Buxbaum, K. L.; Ludwinski, J. M.; Paczkowski, B. G.
The Galileo mission operations concept is undergoing substantial redesign, necessitated by the deployment failure of the High Gain Antenna, while the spacecraft is on its way to Jupiter. The new design applies state-of-the-art technology and processes to increase the telemetry rate available through the Low Gain Antenna and to increase the information density of the telemetry. This paper describes the mission planning process being developed as part of this redesign. Principal topics include a brief description of the new mission concept and anticipated science return (these have been covered more extensively in earlier papers), identification of key drivers on the mission planning process, a description of the process and its implementation schedule, a discussion of the application of automated mission planning tool to the process, and a status report on mission planning work to date. Galileo enhancements include extensive reprogramming of on-board computers and substantial hard ware and software upgrades for the Deep Space Network (DSN). The principal mode of operation will be onboard recording of science data followed by extended playback periods. A variety of techniques will be used to compress and edit the data both before recording and during playback. A highly-compressed real-time science data stream will also be important. The telemetry rate will be increased using advanced coding techniques and advanced receivers. Galileo mission planning for orbital operations now involves partitioning of several scarce resources. Particularly difficult are division of the telemetry among the many users (eleven instruments, radio science, engineering monitoring, and navigation) and allocation of space on the tape recorder at each of the ten satellite encounters. The planning process is complicated by uncertainty in forecast performance of the DSN modifications and the non-deterministic nature of the new data compression schemes. Key mission planning steps include
Carr, P. D.; Kowal, C. T.; Mulich, T. J.; Whittenburg, K.; Wishnefsky, B.; Posner, A. S.
NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission was launched in February 1996 on a mission to rendezvous with the asteroid 433 Eros in 1999. NEAR, with its five science instruments, is controlled from the NEAR Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland by a team of 5-8 sequence planners and flight controllers, with the support of a small engineering group. We examine lessons learned in planning, verifying and executing NEAR cruise and flyby activities. We find that the NEAR prerendezvous phase — so long as science objectives remain tightly focused — has been and can be successfully executed by a small, broadly experienced, highly skilled, closely cooperating team. However, sequence design for the year-long Eros-orbiting phase with multiple, potentially conflicting science activities will require a more robust and tightly integrated structure.
A study was conducted to develop space tug operational concepts and baseline operations plan, and to provide cost estimates for space tug operations. Background data and study results are presented along with a transition phase analysis (the transition from interim upper state to tug operations). A summary is given of the tug operational and interface requirements with emphasis on the on-orbit checkout requirements, external interface operational requirements, safety requirements, and system operational interface requirements. Other topics discussed include reference missions baselined for the tug and details for the mission functional flows and timelines derived for the tug mission, tug subsystems, tug on-orbit operations prior to the tug first burn, spacecraft deployment and retrieval by the tug, operations centers, mission planning, potential problem areas, and cost data.
Jones, Michael K.
Various issues associated with interoperability for space mission monitor and control are presented in viewgraph form. Specific topics include: 1) Space Project Mission Operations Control Architecture (SuperMOCA) goals and methods for achieving them; 2) Specifics on the architecture: open standards ad layering, enhancing interoperability, and promoting commercialization; 3) An advertisement; 4) Status of the task - government/industry cooperation and architecture and technology demonstrations; and 5) Key features of messaging services and virtual devices.
Tai, W.; Sweetnam, D.
An operations architecture is proposed for low cost missions beyond the year 2000. The architecture consists of three elements: a service based architecture; a demand access automata; and distributed science hubs. The service based architecture is based on a set of standard multimission services that are defined, packaged and formalized by the deep space network and the advanced multi-mission operations system. The demand access automata is a suite of technologies which reduces the need to be in contact with the spacecraft, and thus reduces operating costs. The beacon signaling, the virtual emergency room, and the high efficiency tracking automata technologies are described. The distributed science hubs provide information system capabilities to the small science oriented flight teams: individual access to all traditional mission functions and services; multimedia intra-team communications, and automated direct transparent communications between the scientists and the instrument.
Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel
As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less man-power rises.Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. The Automated-Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN)tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the ASE project's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.
Gal-Edd, Jonathan; Cheuvront, Allan
The OSIRIS-REx mission employs a methodical, phased approach to ensure success in meeting the missions science requirements. OSIRIS-REx launches in September 2016, with a backup launch period occurring one year later. Sampling occurs in 2019. The departure burn from Bennu occurs in March 2021. On September 24, 2023, the SRC lands at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR). Stardust heritage procedures are followed to transport the SRC to Johnson Space Center, where the samples are removed and delivered to the OSIRIS-REx curation facility. After a six-month preliminary examination period the mission will produce a catalog of the returned sample, allowing the worldwide community to request samples for detailed analysis.Traveling and returning a sample from an Asteroid that has not been explored before requires unique operations consideration. The Design Reference Mission (DRM) ties together space craft, instrument and operations scenarios. The project implemented lessons learned from other small body missions: APLNEAR, JPLDAWN and ESARosetta. The key lesson learned was expected the unexpected and implement planning tools early in the lifecycle. In preparation to PDR, the project changed the asteroid arrival date, to arrive one year earlier and provided additional time margin. STK is used for Mission Design and STKScheduler for instrument coverage analysis.
Hooper, H. L.; Mckendrew, J. B.; Repass, G. D.
A description of the attitude control support being supplied for the Explorer 50 mission is given. Included in the document are descriptions of the computer programs being used to support attitude determination, prediction, and control for the mission and descriptions of the operating procedures that will be used to accomplish mission objectives.
Rohrer, Richard A.
An Operations Monitor/Control System (OMCS) was developed to support remote ground station equipment. The ground station controls a Tracking Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) relocated to provide coverage in the tracking system's zone of exclusion. The relocated satellite significantly improved data recovery for the Gamma Ray Observatory mission. The OMCS implementation, performed in less than 11 months, was mission critical to TDRS drift operations. Extensive use of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware and software products contributed to implementation success. The OMCS has been operational for over 9 months with no significant problems. This paper will share our experiences in OMCS development and integration.
Gal-Edd, Jonathan S.; Cheuvront, Allan
OSIRIS-REx is an acronym that captures the scientific objectives: Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer. OSIRIS-REx will thoroughly characterize near-Earth asteroid Bennu (Previously known as 1019551999 RQ36). The OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission delivers its science using five instruments and radio science along with the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM). All of the instruments and data analysis techniques have direct heritage from flown planetary missions. The OSIRIS-REx mission employs a methodical, phased approach to ensure success in meeting the mission's science requirements. OSIRIS-REx launches in September 2016, with a backup launch period occurring one year later. Sampling occurs in 2019. The departure burn from Bennu occurs in March 2021. On September 24, 2023, the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) lands at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR). Stardust heritage procedures are followed to transport the SRC to Johnson Space Center, where the samples are removed and delivered to the OSIRIS-REx curation facility. After a six-month preliminary examination period the mission will produce a catalog of the returned sample, allowing the worldwide community to request samples for detailed analysis. Traveling and returning a sample from an Asteroid that has not been explored before requires unique operations consideration. The Design Reference Mission (DRM) ties together spacecraft, instrument and operations scenarios. Asteroid Touch and Go (TAG) has various options varying from ground only to fully automated (natural feature tracking). Spacecraft constraints such as thermo and high gain antenna pointing impact the timeline. The mission is sensitive to navigation errors, so a late command update has been implemented. The project implemented lessons learned from other "small body" missions. The key lesson learned was 'expect the unexpected' and implement planning tools early in the lifecycle
An overall view of activity in the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Cebter following the successful splashdown of the Skylab 4 command module in the Pacific Ocean. The three flight controllers in the foreground, left to right, are flight director Neil B. Hutchinson; flight director Donald R. Puddy; and Astronatu Robert L. Crippen, a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM).
Kelly, Angelita C.; Taylor, Thomas D.; Hawkins, Frederick J.
Mission operation concepts are described which are being used to evaluate and influence space and ground system designs and architectures with the goal of achieving successful, efficient, and cost-effective Earth Observing System (EOS) operations. Emphasis is given to the general characteristics and concepts developed for the EOS Space Measurement System, which uses a new series of polar-orbiting observatories. Data rates are given for various instruments. Some of the operations concepts which require a total system view are also examined, including command operations, data processing, data accountability, data archival, prelaunch testing and readiness, launch, performance monitoring and assessment, contingency operations, flight software maintenance, and security.
Breed, Julia; Chu, Kai-Dee; Baker, Paul; Starr, Cynthia; Fox, Jeffrey; Baitinger, Mick
Today, most mission operations are geared toward lowering cost through unmanned operations. 7-day/24-hour operations are reduced to either 5-day/8-hour operations or become totally autonomous, especially for deep-space missions. Proper and effective notification during a spacecraft emergency could mean success or failure for an entire mission. The Spacecraft Emergency Response System (SERS) is a tool designed for autonomous mission operations. The SERS automatically contacts on-call personnel as needed when crises occur, either on-board the spacecraft or within the automated ground systems. Plus, the SERS provides a group-ware solution to facilitate the work of the person(s) contacted. The SERS is independent of the spacecraft's automated ground system. It receives and catalogues reports for various ground system components in near real-time. Then, based on easily configurable parameters, the SERS determines whom, if anyone, should be alerted. Alerts may be issued via Sky-Tel 2-way pager, Telehony, or e-mail. The alerted personnel can then review and respond to the spacecraft anomalies through the Netscape Internet Web Browser, or directly review and respond from the Sky-Tel 2-way pager.
Pfarr, Barbara B.; Donohue, John T.; Hughes, Peter M.
Space missions of the 21st Century will be characterized by constellations of distributed spacecraft, miniaturized sensors and satellites, increased levels of automation, intelligent onboard processing, and mission autonomy. Programmatically, these missions will be noted for dramatically decreased budgets and mission development lifecycles. Current progress towards flexible, scaleable, low-cost, reusable mission control systems must accelerate given the current mission deployment schedule, and new technology will need to be infused to achieve desired levels of autonomy and processing capability. This paper will discuss current and future missions being managed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. It will describe the current state of mission control systems and the problems they need to overcome to support the missions of the 21st Century.
Wolfe, R. R.
An analysis of the current operations concepts of NASA and DoD is presented to determine if alternatives exist which may improve the utilization of resources. The final product is intended to show how sensitive these ground rules and design approaches are relative to the total cost of doing business. The results are comparative in nature, and assess one concept against another as opposed to establishing an absolute cost value for program requirements. An assessment of the mission characteristics is explained to clarify the intent, scope, and direction of this effort to improve the understanding of what is to be accomplished. The characterization of missions is oriented toward grouping missions which may offer potential economic benefits by reducing overall program costs. Program costs include design, development, testing, and engineering, recurring unit costs for logistic vehicles, payload costs. and direct operating costs.
Woods, Robert D.; Moser, Susan A.
The Mission Operations Support Area (MOSA) has been designed utilizing numerous commercial off the shelf items allowing for easy maintenance and upgrades. At its inception, all equipment was at the forefront of technology. The system was created to provide the operator with a 'State of the Art' replacement for equipment that was becoming antiquated and virtually impossible to repair because new parts were no longer available. Although the Mini-NOCC provided adequate support to the Network for a number of years, it was quickly becoming ineffectual for higher data rate and non-standard missions. The MOSA will prove to be invaluable in the future as more and more missions require Ground Network support.
Specific products and functions, and associated facility availability, applicable to preflight planning of flight operations were studied. Training and simulation activities involving joint participation of STS and payload operations organizations, are defined. The prelaunch activities required to prepare for the payload flight operations are emphasized.
The Globalstar system is being developed by Globalstar, Limited Partnership and will utilize 48 satellites in low earth orbit (See Figure 1) to create a world-wide mobile communications system consistent with Vice President Gore's vision of a Global Information Infrastructure. As a large long term commercial system developed by a newly formed organization, Globalstar provides an excellent opportunity to explore innovative solutions for highly efficient satellite command and control. Design and operational concepts being developed are unencumbered by existing physical and organizational infrastructures. This program really is 'starting with a clean sheet of paper'. Globalstar operations challenges can appear enormous. Clearly, assigning even a single person around the clock to monitor and control each satellite is excessive for Globalstar (it would require a staff of 200! . Even with only a single contact per orbit per satellite, data acquisitions will start or stop every 45 seconds! Although essentially identical, over time the satellites will develop their own 'personalities'and will re quire different data calibrations and levels of support. This paper discusses the Globalstar system and challenges and presents engineering concepts, system design decisions, and operations concepts which address the combined needs and concerns of satellite, ground system, and operations teams. Lessons from past missions have been applied, organizational barriers broken, partnerships formed across the mission segments, and new operations concepts developed for satellite constellation management. Control center requirements were then developed from the operations concepts.
Harbaugh, Randy; Szakal, Donna
In an environment characterized by decreasing budgets, limited system development time, and user needs for increased capabilities, the Mission Operations Division (MOD) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center initiated a new, cost-effective concept in developing its spacecraft ground data systems: the Mission Operations Center (MOC). In the MOC approach, key components are integrated into a comprehensive and cohesive spacecraft planning, monitoring, command, and control system with a single, state-of-the-art graphical user interface. The MOD is currently implementing MOC's, which feature a common, reusable, and extendable system architecture, to support the X-Ray Timing Explorer (XTE), Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) missions. As a result of the MOC approach, mission operations are integrated, and users can, with a single system, perform real-time health and safety monitoring, real-time command and control, real-time attitude processing, real-time and predictive graphical spacecraft monitoring, trend analysis, mission planning and scheduling, command generation and management, network scheduling, guide star selection, and (using an expert system) spacecraft monitoring and fault isolation. The MOD is also implementing its test and training simulators under the new MOC management structure. This paper describes the MOC concept, the management approaches used in developing MOC systems, the technologies employed and the development process improvement initiatives applied in implementing MOC systems, and the expected benefits to both the user and the mission project in using the MOC approach.
Kranz, Eugene F.; Kraft, Christopher C.
This paper will discuss three mission operations functions that are illustrative of the key principles of operations SE&I and of the processes and products involved. The flight systems process was selected to illustrate the role of the systems product line in developing the depth and cross disciplinary skills needed for SE&I and providing the foundation for dialogue between participating elements. FDDD was selected to illustrate the need for a structured process to assure that SE&I provides complete and accurate results that consistently support program needs. The flight director's role in mission operations was selected to illustrate the complexity of the risk/gain tradeoffs involved in the development of the flight techniques and flight rules process as well as the absolute importance of the leadership role in developing the technical, operational, and political trades.
The facility, which is now the Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, has provided continuous space mission and related services for the space industry since 1961, from Mercury Redstone through the International Space Station (ISS). Throughout the long history of the facility and mission support teams, the HOSC has developed a stellar customer support and service process. In this era, of cost cutting, and providing more capability and results with fewer resources, space missions are looking for the most efficient way to accomplish their objectives. One of the first services provided by the facility was fax transmission of documents to, then, Cape Canaveral in Florida. The headline in the Marshall Star, the newspaper for the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center, read "Exact copies of Documents sent to Cape in 4 minutes." The customer was Dr. Wernher von Braun. Currently at the HOSC we are supporting, or have recently supported, missions ranging from simple ISS payloads requiring little more than "bentpipe" telemetry access, to a low cost free-flyer Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT), to a full service ISS payload Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2 (AMS2) supporting 24/7 operations at three operations centers around the world with an investment of over 2 billion dollars. The HOSC has more need and desire than ever to provide fast and efficient customer service to support these missions. Here we will outline how our customer-centric service approach reduces the cost of providing services, makes it faster and easier than ever for new customers to get started with HOSC services, and show what the future holds for our space mission operations customers. We will discuss our philosophy concerning our responsibility and accessibility to a mission customer as well as how we deal with the following issues: initial contact with a customer, reducing customer cost, changing regulations and security
Malin, Jane T.; Ryan, D. P.; Schreckenghost, D. L.
This paper describes two linked technology development projects to support Space Shuttle ground operations personnel, both during mission preparation analysis and related analyses in missions. The Space Propulsion Robust Analysis Tool (SPRAT) will provide intelligent support and automation for mission analysis setup, interpretation, reporting and documentation. SPRAT models the actions taken by flight support personnel during mission preparation and uses this model to generate an action plan. CONFIG will provide intelligent automation for procedure analyses and failure impact analyses, by simulating the interactions between operations and systems with embedded failures. CONFIG models the actions taken by crew during space vehicle malfunctions and simulates how the planned action sequences in procedures affect a device model. Jointly the SPRAT and CONFIG projects provide an opportunity to investigate how the nature of a task affects the representation of actions, and to determine a more general action representation supporting a broad range of tasks. This paper describes the problems in representing actions for mission preparation and their relation to planning and scheduling.
Shull, Sarah A.; Peek, Kenneth E.
With the retirement of the Space Shuttle looming, a series of new spacecraft is under development to assist in providing for the growing logistical needs of the International Space Station (ISS). Two of these vehicles are being built under a NASA initiative known as the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. These visiting vehicles ; Space X s Dragon and Orbital Science Corporation s Cygnus , are to be domestically produced in the United States and designed to add to the capabilities of the Russian Progress and Soyuz workhorses, the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and the Japanese H-2 Transfer Vehicle (HTV). Most of what is known about the COTS program has focused on the work of Orbital and SpaceX in designing, building, and testing their respective launch and cargo vehicles. However, there is also a team within the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) at NASA s Johnson Space Center working with their operational counterparts in these companies to provide operational safety oversight and mission assurance via the development of operational scenarios and products needed for these missions. Ensuring that the operational aspect is addressed for the initial demonstration flights of these vehicles is the topic of this paper. Integrating Dragon and Cygnus into the ISS operational environment has posed a unique challenge to NASA and their partner companies. This is due in part to the short time span of the COTS program, as measured from initial contract award until first launch, as well as other factors that will be explored in the text. Operational scenarios and products developed for each COTS vehicle will be discussed based on the following categories: timelines, on-orbit checkout, ground documentation, crew procedures, software updates and training materials. Also addressed is an outline of the commonalities associated with the operations for each vehicle. It is the intent of the authors to provide their audience with a better
The seismometer reading from the impact made by the Apollo 15 Saturn S-IVB stage when it struck the lunar surface is studied by scientists in the Mission Control Center. Dr. Gary Latham (dark suit, wearing lapel button) of Columbia University is responsible for the design and experiment data analysis of the Passive Seismic Experiment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP). The man on the left, writing, is Nafi Toksos of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Looking on at upper left is Dave Lammlein, also with Columbia.
Hooke, Adrian J.
It is proposed to create a fully 'open' architectural specification for standardized space mission command and control. By being open, i.e., independent for any particular implementation, diversity and competition will be encouraged among future commercial suppliers of space equipment and systems. Customers of the new standard capability are expected to include: (1) the civil space community (e.g., NASA, NOAA, international Agencies); (2) the military space community (e.g., Air Force, Navy, intelligence); and (3) the emerging commercial space community (e.g., mobile satellite service providers).
The Earth Science Mission Operation (ESMO) Project created an Independent Review Board to review our Conjunction Risk evaluation process and Maneuver Planning Process to identify improvements that safely manages mission conjunction risks, maintains ground track science requirements, and minimizes overall hours expended on High Interest Events (HIE). The Review Board is evaluating the current maneuver process which requires support by multiple groups. In the past year, there have been several changes to the processes although many prior and new concerns exist. This presentation will discuss maneuver process reviews and Board comments, ESMO assessment and path foward, ESMO future plans, recent changes and concerns.
Stallings, William; Kaufeler, Jean-Francois
Ground networks must respond to the requirements of future missions, which include smaller sizes, tighter budgets, increased numbers, and shorter development schedules. The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) is meeting these challenges by developing a general cross support concept, reference model, and service specifications for Space Link Extension services for space missions involving cross support among Space Agencies. This paper identifies and bounds the problem, describes the need to extend Space Link services, gives an overview of the operations concept, and introduces complimentary CCSDS work on standardizing Space Link Extension services.
Planning data are presented for the development phases of interim upper stage (IUS) and tug systems. Major project planning requirements, major event schedules, milestones, system development and operations process networks, and relevant support research and technology requirements are included. Topics discussed include: IUS flight software; tug flight software; IUS/tug ground control center facilities, personnel, data systems, software, and equipment; IUS mission events; tug mission events; tug/spacecraft rendezvous and docking; tug/orbiter operations interface, and IUS/orbiter operations interface.
Mudgway, D. J.
The support provided by the Deep Space Network to the 1975 Viking Mission from the first landing on Mars July 1976 to the end of the Prime Mission on November 15, 1976 is described and evaluated. Tracking and data acquisition support required the continuous operation of a worldwide network of tracking stations with 64-meter and 26-meter diameter antennas, together with a global communications system for the transfer of commands, telemetry, and radio metric data between the stations and the Network Operations Control Center in Pasadena, California. Performance of the deep-space communications links between Earth and Mars, and innovative new management techniques for operations and data handling are included.
Barger, Laura K.; Wright, Kenneth P.; Burke, Tina M.; Chinoy, Evan D.; Ronda, Joseph M.; Lockley, Steven W.; Czeisler, Charles A.
The success of long-duration space missions depends on the ability of crewmembers and mission support specialists to be alert and maintain high levels of cognitive function while operating complex, technical equipment. We examined sleep, nocturnal melatonin levels and cognitive function of crewmembers and the sleep and cognitive function of mission controllers who participated in a high-fidelity 105-day simulated spaceflight mission at the Institute of Biomedical Problems (Moscow). Crewmembers were required to perform daily mission duties and work one 24-h extended duration work shift every sixth day. Mission controllers nominally worked 24-h extended duration shifts. Supplemental lighting was provided to crewmembers and mission controllers. Participants' sleep was estimated by wrist-actigraphy recordings. Overall, results show that crewmembers and mission controllers obtained inadequate sleep and exhibited impaired cognitive function, despite countermeasure use, while working extended duration shifts. Crewmembers averaged 7.04±0.92 h (mean±SD) and 6.94±1.08 h (mean±SD) in the two workdays prior to the extended duration shifts, 1.88±0.40 h (mean±SD) during the 24-h work shift, and then slept 10.18±0.96 h (mean±SD) the day after the night shift. Although supplemental light was provided, crewmembers' average nocturnal melatonin levels remained elevated during extended 24-h work shifts. Naps and caffeine use were reported by crewmembers during ˜86% and 45% of extended night work shifts, respectively. Even with reported use of wake-promoting countermeasures, significant impairments in cognitive function were observed. Mission controllers slept 5.63±0.95 h (mean±SD) the night prior to their extended duration work shift. On an average, 89% of night shifts included naps with mission controllers sleeping an average of 3.4±1.0 h (mean±SD) during the 24-h extended duration work shift. Mission controllers also showed impaired cognitive function during extended
Diekmann, Frank-Jugen; Mesples, Daniel; Ventimiglia, Luca; Milsson, M.; Kuijper, Dirk Berger, Jean-Noel
ESA's Earth Observation (EO) satellite ENVISAT was launched in 2002 with a nominal mission lifetime of five years. Given the excellent performance of the platform and the nine actively controlled instruments, the mission was extended until the end of 2010, when most of the onboard hydrazine will be exhausted. A concept for extending the Envisat mission has been defined in 2008, which is based on an altitude lowering and a new orbit control concept which will allow a continuation of the routine operations until end of 2013. ESA's control centre ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, will be responsible to implement the orbit change, conduct a mini-commissioning phase following the altitude lowering and resume nominal operations afterwards. The actual orbit change manoeuvres will be carefully planned and executed, aiming at an optimization of fuel consumption. The manoeuvre strategy will allow achieving a reliable estimate of the residual fuel after the thruster firing sequences. One of the immediate consequences after the Envisat orbit change will be S-Band interferences during overlapping ENVISAT and ERS-2 ground station passes, affecting commanding, telemetry and ranging for the two missions operated from ESOC. This will require a dynamic allocation of ground station facilities, also being used by other Earth Observation satellites operated from ESOC. The ENVISAT and ERS2 operators will be supported during this new operations phase by an automation tool taking care of a number of Envisat routine activities. This paper summarizes the Envisat orbit change activities, the impact on routine operations and the conflict resolution strategies.
Reynolds, Walter F.; Lucord, Steven A.; Stevens, John E.
This slide presentation reviews the prototype of phase 1 of the parameter service design of the CCSDS mission operations. The project goals are to: (1) Demonstrate the use of Mission Operations standards to implement the Parameter Service (2) Demonstrate interoperability between Houston MCC and a CCSDS Mission Operations compliant mission operations center (3) Utilize Mission Operations Common Architecture. THe parameter service design, interfaces, and structures are described.
Vandermey, Nancy; Alonge, Eleanor K.; Magee, Kari; Heventhal, William
The Cassini Solstice Mission (CSM) is the second extended mission phase of the highly successful Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Conducted at a much-reduced funding level, operations for the CSM have been streamlined and simplified significantly. Integration of the science timeline, which involves allocating observation time in a balanced manner to each of the five different science disciplines (with representatives from the twelve different science instruments), has long been a labor-intensive endeavor. Lessons learned from the prime mission (2004-2008) and first extended mission (Equinox mission, 2008-2010) were utilized to design a new process involving PIEs (Pre-Integrated Events) to ensure the highest priority observations for each discipline could be accomplished despite reduced work force and overall simplification of processes. Discipline-level PIE lists were managed by the Science Planning team and graphically mapped to aid timeline deconfliction meetings prior to assigning discrete segments of time to the various disciplines. Periapse segments are generally discipline-focused, with the exception of a handful of PIEs. In addition to all PIEs being documented in a spreadsheet, allocated out-of-discipline PIEs were entered into the Cassini Information Management System (CIMS) well in advance of timeline integration. The disciplines were then free to work the rest of the timeline internally, without the need for frequent interaction, debate, and negotiation with representatives from other disciplines. As a result, the number of integration meetings has been cut back extensively, freeing up workforce. The sequence implementation process was streamlined as well, combining two previous processes (and teams) into one. The new Sequence Implementation Process (SIP) schedules 22 weeks to build each 10-week-long sequence, and only 3 sequence processes overlap. This differs significantly from prime mission during which 5-week-long sequences were built in 24 weeks
Shipman, D. L.; Noneman, S. R.; Terry, E. S.
The Spacelab payload operations control center (POCC) timeline analysis program which is used to provide POCC activity and resource information as a function of mission time is described. This program is fully automated and interactive, and is equipped with tutorial displays. The tutorial displays are sufficiently detailed for use by a program analyst having no computer experience. The POCC timeline analysis program is designed to operate on the VAX/VMS version V2.1 computer system.