An important part of mission operations is ensuring that the instruments take the right scientific data at the right time. The Planning & Scheduling team functions as each instrument’s time-management assistant, determining where the instrument should point, when it should take data, and what types of data it should take.
To keep track of each spacecraft’s schedule, the team uses specialized planning and scheduling software. The software we use the most, which we developed here at LASP, is called the Operations and Science Instrument Support Planning and Scheduling system (OASIS-PS). OASIS-PS is capable of automatically generating operations plans based on rules and constraints programmed into the software or stored in the supporting database. Operations activities can be displayed on a timeline and operators can add, modify, or delete activities from the timeline.
Central to the Planning & Scheduling team’s success are our trained undergraduate and graduate students, who often lead the daily science collection requirements, as well as spacecraft events, under the supervision of professional staff.