The representation of mission operations systems (MOS) has been unique to each mission, although there are many common concerns that need to be addressed. A consistent approach and language are needed for representing mission operations systems. The Mission Service Architecture Framework (MSAF) is a foundational extension of SysML and BPMN that provides stereotypes, relationships, and architectural system views that are used to describe mission operations systems.

It was built based on a formal architectural approach whereby stakeholder needs, goals, and objectives are addressed as architectural concerns. The MSAF consists of patterns and behaviors for specifying MOS models, including use cases/operations concepts, requirements, system composition, interfaces, processes, agreements, and agreement scenarios. Viewpoints are a key aspect of the MSAF; each viewpoint of the system addresses a concern and can be re-used across multiple MOS models to render a particular view of the MOS.

A fundamental principle built into the MSAF is a system/system under control paradigm, referred to as “close the loop.” In this paradigm, one system (the control system) has the responsibility of controlling some aspect of another (the system under control). The control system is responsible for planning, execution, and analysis activities. Planning refers both to planning the control information (e.g., commands) to be sent to the system under control and generating the expected results (e.g., predicted telemetry). Execution involves building control products to be sent to the system under control and sending the control products. Analysis is using the received responses from the system under control, comparing the actual results to the expected results, and feeding the needed changes for improvement back into the next planning cycle.

The MSAF contains some utility software for making common model changes and for performing model validation. Common model changes include cloning of model elements, adding missing modeling items, or changing groups of model parameters such as applying specific stereotypes. Validation utilities check for proper application of model patterns, missing model elements, and duplication.

This work was done by Duane L. Bindschadler, Christopher L. Delp, Elyse Fosse, Kathryn A. Schimmels, Peter Di Pasquale, Bradley J. Clement, Marc A. Sarrel, Robert R. Smith, and Seung H. Chung of Caltech; and Louise Anderson, Michelle McCullar, and Carlos Carrion for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for license through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and you may request a license at: https://download.jpl.nasa.gov/ops/request/request_introduction.cfm . NPO-49690


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2017 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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