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Jay Trimble Gives a Series of Talks on Mission Control Technologies, Lunar vs. Martian Rover Ops, and Distributed Ops
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Jay Trimble Gives a Series of Talks on Mission Control Technologies, Lunar vs. Martian Rover Ops, and Distributed Ops

Jay Trimble presented “A New Architecture for Visualization: Open Mission Control Technologies”, at the 6th European ground System Architecture Workshop (ESAW 2017) in Darmstadt, Germany, on June 19th. The presentation covered the Open Mission Control Technologies (Open MCT) architecture, mission use, the Ames collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the open source process and community. Following the conference, a Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) was facilitated by the European Space Operations Center (ESOC) and JPL. Further discussions were held on open source mission system software and the potential for collaboration using open source.

The following week, at the Space Operations Workshop in Moscow, Jay Trimble presented “Key Differences in Operating a Rover on the Moon vs. Mars” and “Beyond Control Centers.” The first presentation covered key differences in operations for a lunar polar asset, basing lunar operations on the Resource Prospector (RP) Mission. Mars operations were based roughly on the Mars Exploration Rovers, generalizing key differences from lunar operations, including communication time, Earth vs. Mars time operations for the ground team, lighting, terrain, power, command and control, and distribution of computational resources and thermal. The second presentation covered the RP mission concept of distributed and connected operations, the historical context for distributed operations, progress in technology and mission operations concepts, and then concluded with thoughts on the future of mission operations and mission control centers.

BACKGROUND: Open (Source) Mission Control Technologies is a next-generation mission control framework for visualization of data on desktop and mobile devices. Developed at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with JPL, Open MCT is being used by NASA for data analysis of spacecraft missions, as well as planning and operation of experimental rover systems.

Resource Prospector (RP) aims to be the first mining expedition on another world. Using a suite of instruments to locate elements from a lunar southern polar region, the planned rover is designed to prospect for and excavate volatiles such as hydrogen, oxygen, and water from the Moon. Building on the findings of the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions that proved the existence of water on the Moon, RP plans to take the next step to access those resources.

The European ground System Architecture Workshop (ESAW) provides an annual international forum for ground systems architects to constructively exchange ideas. The organizers invite presentations covering all aspects of ground systems related to space operations with a special focus on collaboration and common solutions.


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