A Collaborative Scheduling Environment for NASA’s Deep Space Network

Butch Carruth, Mark Johnston, Adam Coffman, Mike Wallace, Belinda Arroyo, Shan Malhotra 2010

link:: https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2010-2284 doi:: 10.2514/6.2010-2284


A number of factors are driving the improvement of NASA’s communications network scheduling, including reducing cost, scaling to support a larger number of increasingly complex missions, and maintaining round the clock availability and reliability. This paper describes the Deep Space Network (DSN) Service Scheduling Software (S3 ), an innovative design to provide a unified scheduling framework for DSN scheduling services. Among the challenges addressed by the S3 design are user-managed workspace schedules for scenario and contingency schedule development, automated change proposals for mutual peer-to-peer concurrence of schedule changes, and tight integration with a high performance scheduling engine that checks for conflicts and scheduling requirement violations, and performs automated conflict resolution. S3 is architected as a web application that accesses a database and that can be run by any DSN scheduling user via a standard web browser. It makes extensive use of modern web technologies to provide a rich client user experience, comparable to popular social networking applications. Among the features provided by the web framework are the online status of other users, instant unobtrusive notification of events of interest, peer-to-peer and multi-user chat, document sharing, and integration with a wiki for a persistent running record of scheduling-related textual information. This approach is appropriate for DSN scheduling due to its highly collaborative nature: the DSN schedule is developed not by a central scheduling authority, but by individual DSN users working together to fit requests into the schedule, making tradeoffs and compromises where appropriate. S3 is scheduled for operational deployment in 2010. This paper presents an overview of the innovative features of the S3 design and implementation, and describes its usage as the next generation DSN scheduling system.