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Proceedings Paper

Chandra mission scheduling on-orbit experience
Author(s): Sabina Bucher; Brent Williams; Misty Pendexter; David Balke
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Paper Abstract

Scheduling observatory time to maximize both day-to-day science target integration time and the lifetime of the observatory is a formidable challenge. Furthermore, it is not a static problem. Of course, every schedule brings a new set of observations, but the boundaries of the problem change as well. As spacecraft ages, its capabilities may degrade. As in-flight experience grows, capabilities may expand. As observing programs are completed, the needs and expectations of the science community may evolve. Changes such as these impact the rules by which a mission scheduled. In eight years on orbit, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Mission Planning process has adapted to meet the challenge of maximizing day-to-day and mission lifetime science return, despite a consistently evolving set of scheduling constraints. The success of the planning team has been achieved, not through the use of complex algorithms and optimization routines, but through processes and home grown tools that help individuals make smart short term and long term Mission Planning decisions. This paper walks through the processes and tools used to plan and produce mission schedules for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Nominal planning and scheduling, target of opportunity response, and recovery from on-board autonomous safing actions are all addressed. Evolution of tools and processes, best practices, and lessons learned are highlighted along the way.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 70160W (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789392
Show Author Affiliations
Sabina Bucher, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)
Brent Williams, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)
Misty Pendexter, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)
David Balke, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7016:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II
Roger J. Brissenden; David R. Silva, Editor(s)

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