The Automated Real-Time Spacecraft Navigation (ARTSN) system is a prototype of a class of software systems for automated navigation and monitoring of spacecraft from stations on the Earth. The system processes radio metric tracking data (principally, range and Doppler measurements) in real time to generate updated spacecraft navigation solutions (including projections of trajectories into the past and future), and associated covariances. The ARTSN system enables the navigation operations analyst to identify and respond to anomalies in nearly real time, when such action is most effective. In this system, validation of data and estimation of parameters for real-time trajectory and target updates are data-driven; these functions are triggered by receipt of radio metric tracking data. The system provides "one step" access to important information; the traditionally separate software components that effect the functions of generating trajectories, computing observable parameters, filtering, and mapping are integrated into the one "engine," which can be queried in real time (or off line) by a shell command (or function call) to provide state, partial-derivative, or covariance information.

This work was done by Laureano Cangahuala, Theodore Drain, Paul Burkhart, and Vincent Pollmeier 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-20426.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 2001 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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