A software framework called PCS Task Wrapper is responsible for standardizing the setup, process initiation, execution, and file management tasks surrounding the execution of science data algorithms, which are referred to by NASA as Product Generation Executives (PGEs). PGEs codify a scientific algorithm, some step in the overall scientific process involved in a mission science workflow.

The PCS Task Wrapper provides a stable operating environment to the underlying PGE during its execution lifecycle. If the PGE requires a file, or metadata regarding the file, the PCS Task Wrapper is responsible for delivering that information to the PGE in a manner that meets its requirements. If the PGE requires knowledge of upstream or downstream PGEs in a sequence of executions, that information is also made available. Finally, if information regarding disk space, or node information such as CPU availability, etc., is required, the PCS Task Wrapper provides this information to the underlying PGE.

After this information is collected, the PGE is executed, and its output Product file and Metadata generation is managed via the PCS Task Wrapper framework. The innovation is responsible for marshalling output Products and Metadata back to a PCS File Management component for use in downstream data processing and pedigree. In support of this, the PCS Task Wrapper leverages the PCS Crawler Framework to ingest (during pipeline processing) the output Product files and Metadata produced by the PGE.

The architectural components of the PCS Task Wrapper framework include PGE Task Instance, PGE Config File Builder, Config File Property Adder, Science PGE Config File Writer, and PCS Met file Writer. This innovative framework is really the unifying bridge between the execution of a step in the overall processing pipeline, and the available PCS component services as well as the information that they collectively manage.

This work was done by Chris A. Mattmann, Daniel J. Crichton, Albert Y. Chang, Brian M. Foster, Dana J. Freeborn, David M. Woollard, and Paul M. Ramirez of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-47160

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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