Simulating science objectives is an essential component of NASA missions to reduce risk, whether the target is Earth or any solar system body. As technology has improved, so has the fidelity, complexity, and precision of scientific instrumentation. In addition, modern communications bandwidth of the spacecraft allows for the transmit of more data than ever. These increased capabilities have placed extra demands on science data generation. Simulated science data for use in planning are required for a successful mission, not only in flight, but through all stages of mission planning as well. Unprecedented collaboration between science teams and operations teams require large swaths of cumbersome technology for sharing, integrating, and visualizing simulated data. This significant complexity hinders the ability of responsible parties to make informed, sensible, and rapid decisions.
The proposed Spaceline tool will directly facilitate NASA in their goal of developing Mission Design Analysis tools to increase the accuracy of science modeling and enable design of future observing systems by predicting and optimizing their impacts on science data collection. Spaceline will be a welcome addition to any mission wherever science planning will reduce costs and risk. Spaceline’s architecture calls for a well-maintained server architecture and a very simple browser based front end to drive a real-time, interactive experience.
Spaceline will support commercial Earth orbiting constellations as well as Space Situational Awareness applications. Spaceline can test the efficacy of constellation-based sensors that monitor the activities of other spacecraft to provide a training tool for operations team members. Spaceline's visualization features will be easy to insert into third-party, education curriculums, or museum kiosks.