A computer program implements the Earth side of the protocol that governs the transfer of data files generated by the Mars Exploration Rovers. It also provides tools for viewing data in these files and integrating data-product files into automated and manual processes. It reconstitutes files from telemetry data packets. Even if only one packet is received, metadata provide enough information to enable this program to identify and use partial data products. This software can generate commands to acknowledge received files and retransmit missed parts of files, or it can feed a manual process to make decisions about retransmission. The software uses an Extensible Markup Language (XML) data dictionary to provide a generic capability for displaying files of basic types, and uses external “plug-in” application programs to provide more sophisticated displays. This program makes data products available with very low latency, and can trigger automated actions when complete or partial products are received. The software is easy to install and use. The only system requirement for installing the software is a Java J2SE 1.4 platform. Several instances of the software can be executed simultaneously on the same machine.

This program was written by Jesse Wright, Kathryn Sturdevant, and David Noble of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free online at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-2827. Refer to NPO-42226.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Ground Processing of Data From the Mars Exploration Rovers

(reference NPO-42226) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the March, 2006 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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