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Resource Prospector Team Successfully Conducts End-To-End Command and Data Paths Test and Completes Mission Simulations
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Resource Prospector Team Successfully Conducts End-To-End Command and Data Paths Test and Completes Mission Simulations

The Resource Prospector (RP) Mission Operations (MOS) and Ground Data Systems (GDS) Distributed Operations team conducted a successful end-to-end test for the complete command and data paths for the upcoming Distributed Operations Test (DOT). Commands were sent, and data flowed, between ARC, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and Johnson Space Center (JSC). The test demonstrated distributed situational awareness through shared data displays. This is a requirement for distributed decision making during mission operations. The test, which had to be completed before the DOT can be attempted, also demonstrated the readiness of the team, and that the software can operate the rover and payload across three centers in a mission-like scenario.

The team also completed the last in a series of simulations in preparation for the DOT. Simulations have been used for design and for training of the DOT team, with iterative improvements to procedures, plans, and software based on simulation debriefs. The first simulations, conducted before the prototype GDS was available, utilized paper prototypes of GDS screens and operational procedures. Fidelity increased over time to include prototype GDS tools and simulated data. In the recent final simulation, the team executed the complete DOT successfully, in the last full-scale rehearsal before the planned DOT.

BACKGROUND: Resource Prospector 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 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, Resource Prospector plans to take the next step and harvest those resources.

In FY ‘15, the RP ‘15 team is designing, developing, integrating, and testing a prototype rover and payload hardware and software. In August, the team will conduct a Distributed Operations Test to test RP operations in a mission-like scenario that includes driving, navigation, drilling, and sample collection and processing using a distributed operations team between ARC, KSC, and JSC.

PROGRAM FUNDING: Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Division, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ARC TEAM: Mark Allan, Robert Carvalho, Amanda Cook, Matt Deans, Rick Elphic, Mike Furlong, Erin Fritzler, Charles Hacskaylo, Sarah Hobart, Scott Miller, Pete Richards, Mark Shirley, John Schreiner, Jay Trimble, and Victor Woeltjen

POC: Jay Trimble, jay.p.trimble@nasa.gov

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