COLSA Corporation

Huntsville, AL, United States

COLSA Corporation

Huntsville, AL, United States
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Cook S.,Dynetics Inc. | Mustakis S.,Dynetics Inc. | White R.,Scitor Corporation | Puckett J.,Colsa Corporation
61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 | Year: 2010

Dynetics, Inc., in support of the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and in partnership with the Colsa Corporation, is developing the Multipurpose NanoMissile System (MNMS) to fully enable the operationally responsive space goals of the Department of Defense (DoD). The need for on-demand intelligence and communications in remote geographical locations is increasing the requirement for rapidly deployable and tailorable space assets. Today, SMDC is developing multiple nanosatellites (nanosats) such as SMDC-ONE and Kestrel Eye. The personal electronics revolution that has put enormous processing capabilities into small hand-held devices is now being extended into space. Nanosats are emerging as key assets for a broad array of federal agencies including DoD, NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and universities. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.


Cecil A.J.,NASA | Pitts R.L.,Computer Sciences Corp. | Welch S.J.,Computer Sciences Corp. | Bryan J.D.,COLSA Corporation
13th International Conference on Space Operations, SpaceOps 2014 | Year: 2014

The International Space Station (ISS) is in an operational configuration. To fully utilize the ISS and take advantage of the modern protocols and updated Ku-band access, the Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) has designed an approach to extend high speed forward link access for payload investigators to their on-orbit payloads. This dramatically increases the ground to ISS communications for those users. This access also enables the ISS flight controllers operating in the Payload Operations and Integration Center to have more direct control over the systems they are responsible for managing and operating. To extend the Ku-band forward link to the payload user community the development of a new command server is necessary. The HOSC subsystems were updated to process the Internet Protocol Encapsulated packets, enable users to use the capability based on their approved services, and perform network address translation to insure that the packets are forwarded from the user to the correct payload repeating that process in reverse from ISS to the payload user. This paper presents the architecture, implementation, and lessons learned. This will include the integration of COTS hardware and software as well as how the device is incorporated into the operational mission of the ISS. Thus, this paper also discusses how this technology can be applicable to payload users of the ISS.


Newhouse M.,Marshall Space Flight Center | Felton L.,Marshall Space Flight Center | Bornas N.,COLSA Corporation | Botts D.,COLSA Corporation | And 3 more authors.
13th International Conference on Space Operations, SpaceOps 2014 | Year: 2014

Spacecraft control centers have evolved from dedicated, single-mission or single missiontype support to multi-mission, service-oriented support for operating a variety of mission types. At the same time, available money for projects is shrinking and competition for new missions is increasing. These factors drive the need for an accurate and flexible model to support estimating service costs for new or extended missions; the cost model in turn drives the need for an accurate and efficient approach to service cost analysis. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) provides operations services to a variety of customers around the world. HOSC customers range from launch vehicle test flights; to International Space Station (ISS) payloads; to small, short duration missions; and has included long duration flagship missions. The HOSC recently completed a detailed analysis of service costs as part of the development of a complete service cost model. The cost analysis process required the team to address a number of issues. One of the primary issues involves the difficulty of reverse engineering individual mission costs in a highly efficient multimission environment, along with a related issue of the value of detailed metrics or data to the cost model versus the cost of obtaining accurate data. Another concern is the difficulty of balancing costs between missions of different types and size and extrapolating costs to different mission types. The cost analysis also had to address issues relating to providing shared, cloud-like services in a government environment, and then assigning an uncertainty or risk factor to cost estimates that are based on current technology, but will be executed using future technology. Finally the cost analysis needed to consider how to validate the resulting cost models taking into account the non-homogeneous nature of the available cost data and the decreasing flight rate. This paper presents the issues encountered during the HOSC cost analysis process, and the associated lessons learned. These lessons can be used when planning for a new multi-mission operations center or in the transformation from a dedicated control center to multi-center operations, as an aid in defining processes that support future cost analysis and estimation. The lessons can also be used by mature service-oriented, multi-mission control centers to streamline or refine their cost analysis process.


Montgomery P.,NASA | Reeves A.S.,COLSA Corporation
13th International Conference on Space Operations, SpaceOps 2014 | Year: 2014

The Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) is a multi-project facility that is responsible for 24x7 real-time International Space Station (ISS) payload operations management, integration, and control and has the capability to support small satellite projects and will provide real-time support for SLS launches. The HOSC is a service- oriented/highly available operations center for ISS payloads-directly supporting science teams across the world responsible for the payloads. The HOSC is required to endure an annual 2-day power outage event for facility preventive maintenance and safety inspection of the core electro-mechanical systems. While complete system shut-downs are against the grain of a highly available sub-system, the entire facility must be powered down for a weekend for environmental and safety purposes. The consequence of this ground system outage is far reaching: any science performed on ISS during this outage weekend is lost. Engineering efforts were focused to maximize the ISS investment by engineering a suitable solution capable of continuing HOSC services while supporting safety requirements. The HOSC Power Outage Contingency (HPOC) System is a physically diversified compliment of systems capable of providing identified real-time services for the duration of a planned power outage condition from an alternate control room. HPOC was designed to maintain ISS payload operations for approximately three continuous days during planned HOSC power outages and support a local Payload Operations Team, International Partners, as well as remote users from the alternate control room located in another building.


Pont G.,French National Center for Space Studies | Belbis O.,French National Center for Space Studies | Burger H.,French National Center for Space Studies | Bornas N.,COLSA Corporation
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

DECLIC is a multi-user facility to investigate critical fluids behaviour and directional solidification of transparent alloys. As part of a joint NASA/CNES research program, the payload has been successfully operated onboard the ISS since October 2009. The operations and the ground segment have been prepared and developed so that the payload is operated in an effective way from the CADMOS control center (Toulouse, France), by using most of the functions proposed by the NASA's POIC (Payload Operations and Integration Center). For example, the internet is used as a connexion mean between the POIC and the CADMOS. The commands are sent via a secured connexion (VPN) while the telemetry is received via some non encrypted UDP ports. The operations have then been prepared in order to face the main limitations of the chosen way of connexion: - Because the internet is not an operational network, and also in order to reduce the operations costs by avoiding having people on console 24/7 at CADMOS, the alarms are processed by operational teams at POIC who are able to issue emergency commands if needed. - Because the UDP is a connexion less protocol, some telemetry packets are lost (typically much less than 1%). But, mainly because of the bandwidth limitations onboard the ISS, and because the DECLIC payload generates very large amounts of data (more than 1 TB since the beginning of operations), Removable Hard Disk Drives (RHDDs) are used to return the whole data to the ground as a reference data: the telemetry data is only used for realtime operations and rough analysis by the scientists. This example, and few others (the use of existing softwares, a web server development so that the scientists can have a real-time view of the payloads from their lab etc.) are detailed in the paper showing how we have made the DECLIC operations effective and successful. The paper also discusses how DECLIC will take advantage of future ISS space-to-ground communications and HOSC ground systems services upgrades to further enhance the science collection opportunities of the experiment.


Cecil A.J.,NASA | Lee Pitts R.,Computer Sciences Corp. | Sparks R.N.,Computer Sciences Corp. | Wickline T.W.,COLSA Corporation | Zoller D.A.,COLSA Corporation
SpaceOps 2012 Conference | Year: 2012

The International Space Station (ISS) is in an operational configuration with final assembly complete. To fully utilize ISS and extend the operational life, it became necessary to upgrade and extend the onboard systems with the Obsolescence Driven Avionics Redesign (ODAR) project. ODAR enabled a joint project between the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) focused on upgrading the onboard payload and Ku-Band systems, expanding the voice and video capabilities, and including more modern protocols allowing unprecedented access for payload investigators to their on-orbit payloads. The MSFC Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) was tasked with developing a high-rate enhanced Functionally Distributed Processor (eFDP) to handle 300Mbps Return Link data, double the legacy rate, and incorporate a Line Outage Recorder (LOR). The eFDP also provides a 25Mbps uplink transmission rate with a Space Link Extension (SLE) interface. HOSC also updated the Payload Data Services System (PDSS) to incorporate the latest Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) protocols, most notably the use of the Internet Protocol (IP) Encapsulation, in addition to the legacy capabilities. The Central Command Processor was also updated to interact with the new onboard and ground capabilities of Mission Control Center - Houston (MCC-H) for the uplink functionality. The architecture, implementation, and lessons learned, including integration and incorporation of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware and software into the operational mission of the ISS, is described herein. The applicability of this new technology provides new benefits to ISS payload users and ensures better utilization of the ISS by the science community.


Ritter G.,Computer Sciences Corp. | Pedoto R.,COLSA Corporation
SpaceOps 2010 Conference | Year: 2010

Scripting languages have become a common method for implementing command and control solutions in space ground operations. The Systems Test and Operations Language (STOL), the Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) Scripting Language Processor (SLP), and the Spacecraft Control Language (SCL) offer script-commands that wrap tedious operations tasks into single calls. Since script-commands are interpreted, they also offer a certain amount of hands-on control that is highly valued in space ground operations. Although compiled programs seem to be unsuited for interactive user control and are more complex to develop, Marshall Space flight Center (MSFC) has developed a product called the Enhanced and Redesign Scripting (ERS) that makes use of the graphical and logical richness of a programming language while offering the hands-on and ease of control of a scripting language. ERS is currently used by the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Operations Integration Center (POIC) Cadre team members. ERS integrates spacecraft command mnemonics, telemetry measurements, and command and telemetry control procedures into a standard programming language, while making use of Microsoft's Visual Studio for developing Visual Basic (VB) or C# ground operations procedures. ERS also allows for script-style user control during procedure execution using a robust graphical user input and output feature. The availability of VB and C# programmers, and the richness of the languages and their development environment, has allowed ERS to lower our "script" development time and maintenance costs at the Marshall POIC. © 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


Felton L.,CSC | Lankford K.,COLSA Corporation | Lee Pitts R.,CSC | Pruitt R.W.,COLSA Corporation
SpaceOps 2010 Conference | Year: 2010

Virtualization provides the opportunity to continue to do "more with less"---more computing power with fewer physical boxes, thus reducing the overall hardware footprint, power and cooling requirements, software licenses, and their associated costs. This paper explores the tremendous advantages and any disadvantages of virtualization in all of the environments associated with software and systems development to operations flow. It includes the use and benefits of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) specification, and identifies lessons learned concerning hardware and network configurations. Using the Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center as an example, we demonstrate that deploying virtualized servers as a means of managing computing resources is applicable and beneficial to many areas of application, up to and including flight operations. © 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


Marsh A.L.,NASA | Pirani J.L.,NASA | Bornas N.,Colsa Corporation
SpaceOps 2010 Conference | Year: 2010

Due to the criticality of continuous mission operations, some control centers must plan for alternate locations in the event an emergency shuts down the primary control center. Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas is the Mission Control Center (MCC) for the International Space Station (ISS). Due to Houston's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, JSC is prone to threats from hurricanes which could cause flooding, wind damage, and electrical outages to the buildings supporting the MCC. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has the capability to be the Backup Control Center for the ISS if the situation is needed. While the MSFC Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) does house the BCC, the prime customer and operator of the ISS is still the JSC flight operations team. To satisfy the customer and maintain continuous mission operations, the BCC has critical infrastructure that hosts ISS ground systems and flight operations equipment that mirrors the prime mission control facility. However, a complete duplicate of Mission Control Center in another remote location is very expensive to recreate. The HOSC has infrastructure and services that MCC utilized for its backup control center to reduce the costs of a somewhat redundant service. While labor talents are equivalent, experiences are not. Certain operations are maintained in a redundant mode, while others are simply maintained as single string with adequate sparing levels of equipment. Personnel at the BCC facility must be trained and certified to an adequate level on primary MCC systems. Negotiations with the customer were done to match requirements with existing capabilities, and to prioritize resources for appropriate level of service. Because some of these systems are shared, an activation of the backup control center will cause a suspension of scheduled HOSC activities that may share resources needed by the BCC. For example, the MCC is monitoring a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. As the threat to MCC increases, HOSC must begin a phased activation of the BCC, while working resource conflicts with normal HOSC activities. In a long duration outage to the MCC, this could cause serious impacts to the BCC host facility's primary mission support activities. This management of a BCC is worked based on customer expectations and negotiations done before emergencies occur.


Pirani J.L.,NASA | Fooshee D.J.,NASA | Calvelage S.G.,Colsa Corporation
SpaceOps 2010 Conference | Year: 2010

The technology of transmitting voice over data networks has been available for over 10 years. Mass market VoIP services for consumers to make and receive standard telephone calls over broadband Internet networks have grown in the last 5 years. While operational costs are less with VoIP implementations as opposed to time division multiplexing (TDM) based voice switches, is it still advantageous to convert a mission control center's voice system to this newer technology? Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) has converted its mission voice services to a commercial product that utilizes VoIP technology. Results from this testing, design, and installation have shown unique considerations that must be addressed before user operations. There are many factors to consider for a control center voice design. Technology advantages and disadvantages were investigated as they refer to cost. There were integration concerns which could lead to complex failure scenarios but simpler integration for the mission infrastructure. MSFC HOSC will benefit from this voice conversion with less product replacement cost, less operations cost and a more integrated mission services environment.

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