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Management (space operations)
Management for space operations means the co-ordination and execution control for space missions.covers all management tasks for preparing and operating a particular mission. The main talent expected is an expert level of technical understanding of spacecraft and ground operations requirements resulting in the planning and execution of all defined activities within a given schedule and within the available budget. Managers should also have a good understanding of the organizational influences on Spacecraft and Ground Operations in order to minimize risks of mishaps and accidents and the behavioral aspects of human error in the conduct of the mission operations. For cooperative International missions, managerial skills in dealing with International Partners and Agencies and intimate knowledge of the "culture" and policy of their own Organization/Agency is considered to be mandatory.
(see papers in the category Mission Management).
One of the SpaceOps2012 Conference selected "best papers" (
) describes a mission operations preparation environment as a "system of systems" to provide a complete overall picture for the integration of the spacecraft systems with the operations environment (MOIS&MORE).
Software or hardware components introduced to interconnect different, in-homogenous software programs or layers. See AIAA papers
Message Oriented Middleware (MOM):
There will always be a new “latest and greatest” architecture for satellite ground systems. This paper discusses the use of a proven message-oriented middleware (MOM) architecture using publish/subscribe functions and the strengths it brings to these mission critical systems. An even newer approach gaining popularity is Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs). A MOM vs. SOA discussion can highlight capabilities supported or enabled by the underlying architecture and can identify benefits of MOMs and SOAs when applied to differing sets of mission requirements or evaluation criteria, see
Mission Extension & End of Life (EoL) Operations
One of the 2012 "best papers"(
) describes the essentials of the NASA Senior review process to approve the extension of successful missions on prominent examples like Voyager, Magellan, Ulysses, Galileo, Mars Esploration Rovers, Cassini etc.
During the 2016 conference the Venus Express end-of-life operations was discussed (AIAA 2016-2361):
Venus Express End of Life Operations - or the art of saying good-bye
). Another aspect of using EoL activities was suggested in paper
TAKE5 Experiment Jazzes up SPOT5’s End of Operational Life, Using it to Simulate the new Sentinel-2 Mission.
A SpaceOps2014 conference paper introduced a new idea for flight and ground operations integration by addressing the commanding and sequencing system for deep space mission operations with Virtual Machine Language (VML) sequencing. VML state machines replace sequences with reactive logic constructs capable of autonomous decision making within their prescribed domain (
A file based operations architecture for EUCLIC (to be launched in 2020), based on CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP) is described in SpaceOps2014 paper
Mission Operations Assurance (MOA)
Mission Operations Assurance
(MOA) principles are fully described by a AIAA-SOSTC subgroup under "Best Practices" (see also "
Mission planning is the activity to plan the execution of a mission according to its defined mission goals. Mission planning activities include planning of the space segment, the ground segment and all astronaut activities. Mission planning tools constitute an essential part of
Operations Tools.With increasing complexity of the missions the planning tools use artificial intelligence to automize the planning effort. A planning tool framework based on AI is described in
. A new Multi-satellite mission planning system is presented in
. A planning system reacting on very short notice times is introduced in
A prototype for an on-board, goal-oriented replanning system was developed. With the lessons learned from this prototype, INPE (Brazilian National Institute for Space Research) implemented an on-board service that provides states inference, which can be used as an autonomy kernel by autonomous applications (ISIS), see
The "Timeline as Unifying Concept for Spacecraft Operations" is introduced and defined as a general, standardized tool for decreasing development cost in one of the "best papers" selscted at 2012 SpaceOps Conference (
Also a SpaceOps 2012 Conference "best topic paper", the "Innovative Rover Operations Concepts - Autonomous Planner (IRONCAP) - Supporting Rover Operations Planning on Ground"
) defines the concepts, techniques ande interaction neede to plan an schedule the activities of an interplanetars rover resulting in the development of a prototypes system.
The "Planning and Execution of the Tele-Robotic maintenance Operations on the ISS" (
) describes the planning and execution of Dextres's first tele-robotic operations. Ground-controlled operations are shown to be an effective method to maximize external maintenance capability.
The ever present topic of mission planning was addressed in the SpaeOps2014 Conference with two new, outstanding papers:
: ESA's report on the building a mission planning framework for the Rosetta and Bepi Colombo missions.
: GSOC's paper describes their future incremental planning system providing the advantage of immediate timeline updates (incremental updating) in contrast to conventional planning systems being only updated with the latest customer requests at fixed time intervals.
Noteworthy deas for mission planning/scheduling were put forth also during the SpaceOps Conference2016:
Rosetta / BepiColombo Mission Planning System: from mission to infrastructure
Accommodating Navigation Uncertainties in the Pluto Encounter Sequence Design
PHILAE Lander: a scheduling challenge
Mobile Devices and Social Tools (for Satellite Operations)
The SpaceOps2012 Conference paper "Location Independent Mission Operations - A Systems Engineering Approach to Mobile Device Data Disseminatoin" (
) recognizes the high mobility of computationally capable tablets, such as iOS and Android devices and their applicability for mission operations. The paper outlines the necessary system analysis and design activites for a risk free introduction of those capabilites.
Another SpaceOps2012 "best topic paper" "Simplify ISS Flight Control Communications and Log keeping via Social Tools and Techniques" (
) explores three evolutionary ground system concepts under development at the three NASA ISS control centers by introducing "social tools and techniques" . These concepts aim to reduce ISS control center voice traffic and console logging yet increase the efficiency and effectiveness of both.
Monitoring and Control Systems (MCS)
Virtualization is a technology that allows emulating a complete computer platform. The potential use ranges from consolidating hardware to running several different operating systems in parallel on one computer to preserving the operability of heritage software. GSOC has been investigating the possibilities of virtualization for some time. Aside from the usual approach of virtualizing the central servers out of administrational, consolidational reasons, the possibilities and advantages of control room client virtualization was explored. While moving mainstream in other businesses, the space community is cautious to apply this technique to the mission critical monitoring and control systems. The paper
(one of the 2010 selected best papers) illustrates three virtualization steps that are underway at GSOC and presents the experiences gained.
At the SpaceOps 2012 conference a University-developed "Comprehensive Open-architecture Space Mission Operations System" (COSMOS),
, was introduced and selected as one of the "best papers". The basic philosophy of this architecture is that its elements (tools and programs) will be easy to port to new location and to be modified for operating with new spacecraft.
Operations of multiple and usually similar spacecraft with a minimum of operations staff. The concept capitalizes on the same set of multi-skilled operators using common software/hardware/ground architecture components for more than one mission. As a result, multi-mission operations manpower savings reduces operations cost for a specific mission (AIAA paper
). Multi-mission approaches are considered sufficiently mature for standardization (Round Table).
One of the selected SpaceOps2012 "best papers" (
) proposes a more efficient way to multi-mission operations by creating pools of specialists e.g., for attitude and orbit control, power/thermal etc., the pools forming the Operations Enginering Group being able to efficiently support multiple projects.
Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)
NASA interplanetary capsule for crew transport to the ISS and deep space after Shuttle system retirement in 2011.
One of the SpaceOps2012 "best papers" (
) suggests a re-engineering method to eliminate unforeseen design inefficiencies during operations using the Spitzer mission as an example. It is recommended to include a formal re-engineering evaluation period in the life-cycle phases of a mission.
Mission Simulation (Analogue Missions)
This new topic was introduced during the SpaceOps2016 conference, it deals with the subject of "analog missions"
Operational Feasibility of Human-Robotic Analog Planetary Missions: An analysis from AMDEE
ANALOGUES FOR PREPARING ROBOTIC AND HUMAN EXPLORATION ON THE MOON
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