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Advance Planning and Scheduling Initiative (APSI)
A research project funded by ESA-ESOC in Nov. 2006. It aims to create a software framework to improve cost-effectiveness and flexibility of planning support tool development and it strives to bridge the gap between advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) planning and scheduling technology and the world of mission planning. The paper
examines the operational flexibilities in the Mars Express mission and how these allow such AI constraint resolution techniques to be applied to the early ‘science availability’ definition with the APSI Case Study 1 Tool.
Architecture (Ground segment)
The quality of a ground segment architecture is defined by its efficiency implementing users requirements. Various methods are used. The advantages and experiences of two implementation approaches are presented: Functional architecture (
), open service oriented architecture (
Arraying is the technical method to enhance the receiving capability for deep space missions by coupling various antennas available at the ground reception site. Paper
gives an overview of past techniques used by the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN), its contributions to the Spitzer telescope mission an future planning.
The promise of array technology in support of space operations has long been appreciated, and receiving array technology is now an important operational asset. Notable examples include the NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) array of twenty seven 25m reflectors and the DSN (Deep Space Network) ad hoc arraying of various assets, particularly 34m antennas , to realize significant G/T increases providing needed bandwidth and range extensions. However, uplink (transmit) arraying has not kept pace due to the difficulty of ensuring „open loop‟ beam formation under the conditions of wide spacing. The 2010 paper (
) presens an approach for mitigating these difficulties, offering the potential for continual readiness operationally and extensibility to Ka band.
Authentication in operations is applied for user and/or hardware authentication in order to enhance operations security (see also
Security) by prohibiting unauthorized access. The use of Smartcards for operational purposes in the Columbus Control Center and associated supporting centers was introduced instead of suing username/password identification. The implementation and user experience is described in
The execution of a process free from human intervention as much as feasible. Automation of operations attempts to substitute as many operational tasks as possible by automated processes, mainly by software routines, which classically would be executed by operations personnel. The main fields of operations automation are: telemetry analysis, failure detection and automated reaction to failures (failure correction), command and sequence generation. Automation of operations is achieved by implementation of centralized telemetry (TM), telecommand (TC), planning and scheduling tools requiring none or very little operator interactions (AIAA paper
). Introduction of automation into operational systems is particularly challenging and cost-intensive. In human spaceflight, Astronauts add to the complexities as a consequence of unpredictable reactions (AIAA paper
). Introduction of increasing levels of ground station remote monitor and control with no impact on quality of service is being exercised (AIAA paper
). Automation of Space Segment with robotics: end-effectors and tool exchange require much more complex operations preparation (AIAA paper
). The beneficial aspect of automation is that more autonomy on board allows lower operations staffing in case of nominal behavior (AIAA paper
); in case of contingencies, deeper expertise may be required, depending also on the level of validation in the onboard automation performed during mission preparation. A rich, 3-D, visualization environment can contribute to a virtual operational presence in space and supports terrestrial, distributed operations (AIAA paper
). Definition and issues of an automated service within a mission operations framework (AIAA paper
) is being investigated. Automation proposals for scientific image data collection by comparing the (changing) status of the observation object is a means to improve the efficiency of data return (Round Table).
Flight Procedures Automation:
describes the Satellite Procedure Execution Language and Library (SPELL) as open specification developed by SES and GMV together with its powerful scripting capabilities to automate flight procedures.
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