The Pointing History Engine (PHE) is a computer program that provides mathematical transformations needed to reconstruct, from downlinked telemetry data, the attitude of the Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility) as a function of time. The PHE also serves as an example for development of similar pointing reconstruction software for future space telescopes. The transformations implemented in the PHE take account of the unique geometry of the Spitzer telescope-pointing chain, including all data on relative alignments of components, and all information available from attitude-determination instruments. The PHE makes it possible to coordinate attitude data with observational data acquired at the same time, so that any observed astronomical object can be located for future reference and re-observation. The PHE is implemented as a subroutine used in conjunction with telemetry-formatting services of the Mission Image Processing Laboratory of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to generate the Boresight Pointing History File (BPHF). The BPHF is an archival database designed to serve as Spitzer's primary astronomical reference documenting where the telescope was pointed at any time during its mission.
This program was written by David Bayard, Asif Ahmed, and Paul Brugarolas of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category.
This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-43374.