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Preparing Cassini uplink operations for extended mission

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dc.contributor.author Maxwell, Jennifer L.
dc.contributor.author McCullar, Michelle L.
dc.contributor.author Conner, Diane
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-14T17:56:55Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-14T17:56:55Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-12
dc.identifier.citation SpaceOps 2008, Heidelberg, Germany, May 12-16, 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 08-1036
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/45376
dc.description.abstract 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major risks in the operations process: (1) personnel turnover and the retirement of critical knowledge and (2) aging, outdated operations procedures.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 engineering sequences, a review and major update of the current documentation and operations procedures was needed. This paper will address the changes made to extended mission sequence generation processes primarily due to new restrictions in spacecraft operating capability and lessons learned from prime mission. In addition, it will address the state of the prime mission operations procedures, the philosophy changes and updates that were made to those procedures in response to process improvement, and the validation of those new procedures through the training of current and new personnel. And lastly, it will address the lessons learned throughout prime mission and how the Uplink Operations team chose to incorporate those lessons into the working documentation and team knowledge. This incorporation was necessary to facilitate the success of the extended mission with potentially all new personnel at some point prior to the end of the mission. 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.title Preparing Cassini uplink operations for extended mission en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US


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