Due to thermal and electromagnetic interactivity between the UHF (ultra-high frequency) radio onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which performs relay sessions with the Martian landers, and the remainder of the MRO payloads, it is required to integrate and de-conflict relay sessions with the MRO science plan. The MRO relay SASF/PTF (spacecraft activity sequence file/ payload target file) generation software facilitates this process by generating a PTF that is needed to integrate the periods of time during which MRO supports relay activities with the rest of the MRO science plans. The software also generates the needed command products that initiate the relay sessions, some features of which are provided by the lander team, some are managed by MRO internally, and some being derived.

By utilizing an input file provided by the lander team, along with a managed configuration file, the MRO relay SASF/PTF generation software runs MRO’s MTT (Mars Target Tool) software recursively to construct the Relay PTF. It also references these same input products to generate the SASFs needed to support the overflight. Each SASF has all of the parameters and commanding required to instruct MRO to initiate the relay session and to configure the onboard radio to transfer data to and from the landed asset. In addition, the software performs version checking on the current input file and determines any modifications to the file from any previous version. If instructed, it will output only that information which is relevant to the changed entries.

This work was done by Roy E. Gladden and Teerapat Khanampornpan of Caltech 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-46512.

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This article first appeared in the September, 2009 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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