Due to the nature of the GRAIL mission, the GRAIL Mission Planning and Sequence Team (MPST) is required to generate ground and uplink products faster than ever done before. The existing correct_transmitter_min_dur tool that provides a similar function to grl_suppdoc lacks the ability to operate accurately or quickly enough to support the rapid turnaround required of the GRAIL MPST.

The GRAIL MPST was required to build this new tool to facilitate the ground and uplink generation processes to meet a tight sequence development timeline. The grl_suppdoc tool enables the GRAIL MPST to generate automatically Deep Space Network (DSN) transmitter suppressions based on short uplinks that are found in the ground/modeled Predicted Events File (PEF).

The grl_suppdoc script automatically generates applicable DSN uplink suppressions in the form of a Spacecraft Activity Sequence File (SASF) to protect the GRAIL project from short DSN uplink windows, which can be cause for operator error at the DSN antennas. Currently, no software exists that provides this functionality at the efficiency required for GRAIL sequence team operations. Compared to a manual process, this script reduces human error and saves considerable man-hours by automating and streamlining the mission planning and sequencing task for the GRAIL mission.

This work was done by Jared A. Call and John H. Kwok 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 Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-48659

Software Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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