Ground Software

We provide ground software services for data reduction and operations. These include flight software supporting modules, stand-alone planning tools up to science data reconstruction algorithms. 

  • De-compression

A project which uses compression in the flight software needs to include the corresponding de-compression on ground. We provide these modules as part of the project's level 0/1 data reduction pipeline. Since such a module needs to handle all software versions throughout ground development, calibration and testing to the actual operation in space, this is a significant work package in a space project.

  • Instrument Database

The TM/TC services in a space project are so diverse in parameters, that an instrument database (IDB) needs to be used to encode the human readable commands and to decode the telemetry. A frequently used standard format for this is SCOS-2000, a more modern way to interact with an IDB is the DABYS SQL approach. We provide tools to create and maintain such databases and use them in our EGSE software.

  • Operations

A flight software has a set of parameters which define its detailed behaviour. For instance, if lossy steps such as image cropping, binning, stacking, etc. need to be controlled, these parameters need to be verified by simulation on ground before they can be used on board. Another example would be a flight software algorithm, which carries out pattern recognition on the field of view to identify the target object to be observed. Such an algorithm needs a sophisticated tool on ground, which calculates the "fingerprint" to be used in the recognition process.

  • Data Reduction and Reconstruction algorithms

Our main motivation in a space project is to multiply and optimize the science data yield. Our philosophy is, "the [data reduction] pipeline starts in space". With our flight software we take care of it on the front-end, but we also provide data reduction tools and modules for the back-end on ground to get the most out of the data. This includes inverse reconstruction techniques (see Compressed Sensing) as well as a-posteriori techniques (see Herschel Imaging Legacy).