Engineering Data Summarization Flight Software is a computer program designed for use aboard a spacecraft to implement a concept, called "beacon monitoring," that has been discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles. The program generates summaries of operational data (e.g., sensor readings) that represent the state of the spacecraft, and thereby reduces both (1) the quantity of information that must be telemetered to a ground station and (2) the time and cost of analyzing the data to diagnose the spacecraft. The program can also be used to reduce the cost of diagnosing a complex terrestrial system. The program generates event-driven summaries of events since the last contact. For each event, the program identifies the sensor and its readout data that triggered increased monitoring, and gathers data from that sensor and causally related sensors at a high sampling rate around the time of the event. The data from all such events are assigned priorities and stored for downlink at the next telemetry pass. Gaps in the data between events are filled by "snapshots" of all sensor channels sampled at a lower rate. Triggering for each event can be effected by use of either static alarm thresholds or adaptive thresholds established by artificial-intelligence subprograms.

This program was written by E. Jay Wyatt, Dennis Decoste, Alan Schlutsmeyer, Robert Sherwood, and John Szijjarto of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at  under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-3425. Refer to NPO-20822.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2000 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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