Automatic Sequence Generator (Autogen) Version 3.0 software automatically generates command sequences for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and several other JPL spacecraft operated by the multi-mission support team. Autogen uses standard JPL sequencing tools like APGEN, ASP, SEQGEN, and the DOM database to automate the generation of uplink command products, Spacecraft Command Message Format (SCMF) files, and the corresponding ground command products, DSN Keywords Files (DKF). Autogen supports all the major multimission mission phases including the cruise, aerobraking, mapping/science, and relay mission phases.

Autogen is a Perl script, which functions within the 'mission operations' UNIX environment. It consists of two parts: a set of model files and the autogen Perl script. Autogen encodes the behaviors of the system into a model and encodes algorithms for context-sensitive customizations of the modeled behaviors. The model includes knowledge of different mission phases and how the resultant command products must differ for these phases. The executable software portion of Autogen, automates the setup and use of APGEN for constructing a spacecraft activity sequence file (SASF). The setup includes file retrieval through the DOM (Distributed Object Manager), an object database used to store project files. This step retrieves all the needed input files for generating the command products.

Depending on the mission phase, Autogen also uses the ASP (Automated Sequence Processor) and SEQGEN to generate the command product sent to the spacecraft. Autogen also provides the means for customizing sequences through the use of configuration files. By automating the majority of the sequencing generation process, Autogen eliminates many sequence generation errors commonly introduced by manually constructing spacecraft command sequences. Through the layering of commands into the sequence by a series of scheduling algorithms, users are able to rapidly and reliably construct the desired uplink command products.

With the aid of Autogen, sequences may be produced in a matter of hours instead of weeks, with a significant reduction in the number of people on the sequence team. As a result, the uplink product generation process is significantly streamlined and mission risk is significantly reduced. Autogen is used for operations of MRO, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Odyssey, and will be used for operations of Phoenix. Autogen Version 3.0 is the operational version of Autogen including the MRO adaptation for the cruise mission phase, and was also used for development of the aerobraking and mapping mission phases for MRO.

This program was written by Forest Fisher, Roy Gladded, and Teerapat Khanampompan for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-43638.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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