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Moving away from ones and zeros, designing a ground data system based on higher levels of abstraction

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dc.contributor.author Tankenson, Michael
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-14T17:54:20Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-14T17:54:20Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-12
dc.identifier.citation SpaceOps 2008, Heidelberg, Germany, May 12-16, 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 08-0946
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/45357
dc.description.abstract Previous JPL ground systems have been designed with the Ground Data System (GDS) engineer in mind. The focus on these systems has been on packaging and delivery of low level information (frames, packets, telemetry values) to the end user. It was not that long ago when project teams would be huddled over a workstation, examining crude displays of telemetry bits organized in various ways, trying to determine the status of a spacecraft. Understanding the data often required additional levels of GDS expertise, or worse, transformation of the raw data into alternative formats followed by ingestion into other tools so that the data became meaningful. The primary focus was often to answer these types of questions: “Why did this particular frame fail Reed-Solomon decode? Why did this packet get marked as invalid? Why am I missing a block of telemetry from my query?” -- which are completely valid questions to ask from a GDS Engineer’s point of view, and large families of tools have been designed to help answer these questions. But these are not the questions that most users care about – which are more like: “Why is the battery state of charge trending down? Show me a summary image report for the last traverse to the target. Show me a data accountability summary for the last DSN pass.” Answers to these questions, which are what users are looking for, requires a higher level of abstraction and supporting tools than mining through ones and zeros. JPL has created a next generation capability called the Mission Data Processing and Control System (MPCS) which is designed to support this higher level of abstraction by providing customizable views of the ground system combining collections of lower level information into more meaningful ways. Instead of examining frames, packets, and individual telemetry data points -- MPCS is capable of providing comprehensive summary reports, product status, overall flight/ground event status, as well as payload health summaries. Based on these higher level views, end users can make tactical or strategic decisions, or drop into detailed analysis as needed. System designers need to continue building systems that support low level GDS troubleshooting – but the basic design of a GDS should be geared towards what end users actually need to see. This paper will describe the capabilities of MPCS that directly support these higher levels of abstraction, and which are being used today in missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory and other NASA missions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2008 en_US
dc.subject MPCS en_US
dc.title Moving away from ones and zeros, designing a ground data system based on higher levels of abstraction en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US


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