Software

Computing for Aiming a Spaceborne Bistatic-Radar Transmitter

BISTAT is a computer program for use in aiming a spaceborne bistatic-radar transmitting antenna at a remote planet that has an atmosphere, such that after refraction by the atmosphere and reflection from the surface of the planet, the radar signal travels toward a receiver on Earth.  BISTAT includes an algorithm that neglects atmospheric refraction and calculates a specular reflection point for a spacecraft at a given location. The specular-reflection point is then used as an initial guess for a modified limb-track algorithm that takes atmospheric refraction into account. The output of BISTAT for all spacecraft positions of interest constitutes a pointing profile; the output data are in the form of an inertial-vector file and a Doppler-residual file. The inertial-vector file is used to command the attitude of the spacecraft; the Doppler residual file is used to determine a downlink frequency file for the receiver.

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Scheduling With Automatic Resolution of Conflicts

DSN Requirement Scheduler is a computer program that automatically schedules, reschedules, and resolves conflicts for allocations of resources of NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) on the basis of ever changing project requirements for DSN services. As used here, “resources” signifies, primarily, DSN antennas, ancillary equipment, and times during which they are available. Examples of project-required DSN services include arraying, segmentation, very-long-baseline interferometry, and multiple spacecraft per aperture. Requirements can include periodic reservations of specific or optional resources during specific time intervals or within ranges specified in terms of starting times and durations. This program is built on the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) software system (aspects of which have been described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles), with customization to reflect requirements and constraints involved in allocation of DSN resources. Unlike prior DSN-resource scheduling programs that make single passes through the requirements and require human intervention to resolve conflicts, this program makes repeated passes in a continuing search for all possible allocations, provides a best-effort solution at any time, and presents alternative solutions among which users can choose.

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