Software that enables authorized users to monitor and control scientific payloads aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from diverse terrestrial locations equipped with Internet connections is undergoing development. This software reflects a data-driven approach to distributed operations. A Web-based software framework leverages prior developments in Java and Extensible Markup Language (XML) to create portable code and portable data, to which one can gain access via Web-browser software on almost any common computer. Opensource software is used extensively to minimize cost; the framework also accommodates enterprise-class server software to satisfy needs for high performance and security. To accommodate the diversity of ISS experiments and users, the framework emphasizes openness and extensibility. Users can take advantage of available viewer software to create their own client programs according to their particular preferences, and can upload these programs for custom processing of data, generation of views, and planning of experiments. The same software system, possibly augmented with a subset of data and additional software tools, could be used for public outreach by enabling public users to replay telescience experiments, conduct their experiments with simulated payloads, and create their own client programs and other custom software.

This program was written by Kam S. Tso of IA Tech, Inc. for Marshall Space Flight Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Software category.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 2005 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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