This software provides a new set of capabilities for the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS) in support of Strategic and Tactical relay, including a highly interactive relay request Web user interface, mission control over relay planning time periods, and mission management of allowed strategic vs. tactical request parameters. Together, these new capabilities expand the scope of the system to include all elements critical for Tactical relay operations.
Planning of replay activities spans a time period that is split into two distinct phases. The first phase is called Strategic, which begins at the time that relay opportunities are identified, and concludes at the point that the orbiter generates the flight sequences for on board execution. Any relay request changes from this point on are called Tactical.
Tactical requests, otherwise called Orbiter Relay State Changes (ORSC), are highly restricted in terms of what types of changes can be made, and the types of parameters that can be changed may differ from one orbiter to the next. For example, one orbiter may be able to delay the start of a relay request, while another may not. The legacy approach to ORSC management involves exchanges of e-mail with “requests for change” and “acknowledgement of approval,” with no other tracking of changes outside of e-mail folders.
MaROS Phases 1 and 2 provided the infrastructure for strategic relay for all supported missions. This new version, 3.0, introduces several capabilities that fully expand the scope of the system to include tactical relay. One new feature allows orbiter users to manage and “lock” Planning Periods, which allows the orbiter team to formalize the changeover from Strategic to Tactical operations. Another major feature allows users to interactively submit tactical request changes via a Web user interface. A third new feature allows orbiter missions to specify allowed tactical updates, which are automatically incorporated into the tactical change process. This software update is significant in that it provides the only centralized service for tactical request management available for relay missions.