A set of automated planning algorithms is the current operations baseline approach for the Intelligent Payload Module (IPM) of the proposed Hyper spectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) mission. For this operations concept, there are only local (e.g. non-depletable) operations constraints, such as real-time downlink and onboard memory, and the forward sweeping algorithm is optimal for determining which science products should be generated onboard and on ground based on geographical overflights, science priorities, alerts, requests, and onboard and ground processing constraints.

This automated planning approach was developed for the HyspIRI IPM concept. The HyspIRI IPM is proposed to use an X-band Direct Broadcast (DB) capability that would enable data to be delivered to ground stations virtually as it is acquired. However, the HyspIRI VSWIR and TIR instruments will produce approximately 1 Gbps data, while the DB capability is 15 Mbps for a ≈60× oversubscription. In order to address this mismatch, this innovation determines which data to downlink based on both the type of surface the spacecraft is overflying, and the onboard processing of data to detect events. For example, when the spacecraft is overflying Polar Regions, it might downlink a snow/ice product. Additionally, the onboard software will search for thermal signatures indicative of a volcanic event or wild fire and downlink summary information (extent, spectra) when detected, thereby reducing data volume. The planning system described above automatically generated the IPM mission plan based on requested products, the overflight regions, and available resources.

This work was done by Steve A. Chien, David A. McLaren, and Gregg R. Rabideau of Caltech; Daniel Mandl of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; and Jerry Hengemihle of Microtel LLC for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NPO-47875

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Automated Planning of Science Products Based on Nadir Overflights and Alerts for Onboard and Ground Processing

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This article first appeared in the July, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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