Scalable And Tileable Aggregate Low Level Summary Display For Deep Space Network Link Control Tasks

NASA Tech Briefs

The Deep Space Network (DSN) is a collection of three sites around the globe. The positioning of the sites, 120° longitude apart, allows at least one site to see every patch of sky at all times, thus facilitating continuous coverage for any deep space spacecraft that partners with the DSN. One of the key people charged with the Deep Space Network support activities is the Link Control Operator (LCO). Among other duties, the LCO prepares the necessary hardware to track the spacecraft, tracks the spacecraft, and stows and tears down the equipment links after the track has passed. Currently, a single LCO monitors and commands one or two simulta- neous supports. However, the number of supports will increase to three or more within the next five years under the DSN Follow the Sun initiative. This work investigated how link control operators monitor supports. With the current system, the subsystem details reside on each subsystem display. Operators scan across six physical monitors to find necessary information to monitor their supports. To address the identified need of an aggregate low-level summary display, a display called the Postage Stamp was developed. LCOs identified a number of critical pieces of information that lead to an understanding of support health, and incorporated all of these elements in a single display.