First launched in 2003, MOIS released its seventh version in 2017. This new version offers extended support for a broader range of operations data types and allows to perform consistency checks in the background.
The next version to be released in 2019 is currently under development alongside the European Ground Segment Common Core (EGS-CC). It will provide this preparation environment with increased emphasis on overall validation of the operational products alongside the ground segment software itself.
Simon Reid, Chief Technical Officer, Wolfgang Heinen, Senior Software Engineer, and Steve Pearson, Senior Software Architect, presented the new features of the seventh and eighth version of MOIS in May 2018 during the SpaceOps 2018 conference taking place in Marseille, France. The conference presentation is available here.
Testing and operating a space mission is a complex and challenging task. For a single mission, spacecraft manufacturers and operators need to create, exchange, maintain and manage more than 1000 test and operations procedures through the spacecraft’s lifecycle.
Spacecraft test and operation is more than writing procedures. The overall picture is a complex set of inter-dependent operational products that need to be managed and validated as a whole.
With such a complex scenario, the operations preparation environment must be designed to allow spacecraft engineers to concentrate on what they are best at: dealing with the extreme complexity, intricacies and nuances of the spacecraft itself.
To ensure the safe and efficient management of the spacecraft alongside these complex environments, the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) and many European industry manufacturers and operators use MOIS, a suite of software tools for spacecraft and ground segment operations preparation and validation.
#1 Better procedure consistency and quality
The procedure preparation process needs to maintain consistency with the mission database. Without a proper tool to do this, system developers and operators face continuous needs for review, spend considerable time on updates, and often find inconsistencies in the different products. The consequence is a reduced quality of procedures, which can put a space mission in danger and cause a considerable expense regarding manpower.
MOIS guarantees automatic and consistent updates of procedures when the database changes. The software’s hierarchical offline data model captures all classes of configuration data consistently, providing the means to define relationships and dependencies and providing safe storage and release control. A plug-in framework manages all configuration data items in a structured way and provides an advanced MMI which allows specific editors for each type of data to be integrated.
#2 Easy to learn
The procedure preparation process usually requires the knowledge of a procedure language may be different according to the mission and between test and operations. MOIS supports procedure preparation in a generic format that is easy to learn. It enables satellites manufacturers and operators to work on an exchange operations knowledge in a standard and transparent way to better build, validate and operate a satellite mission.
#3 Easier procedure handover and maintenance
Operations teams need to take over and maintain the procedures for the spacecraft lifetime. Different experience and different knowledge of the required procedure language increases the risk for inconsistencies in the handover.
MOIS makes it easy to capture knowledge from spacecraft designers to the operations team, to maintain procedures before and during a mission. Processes can be exported in an operations language for automation, saving time and resources.