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developerWorks: Open Source Satellite Control

Sep 09, 2002, 23:30 (1 Talkback[s])

WEBINAR:
On-Demand

Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers


[ Thanks to Debra for this link. ]

"Suppose you're a rocket scientist, or, more precisely, a satellite engineer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Your assignment is to get an innovative scientific satellite into orbit on schedule, under budget, and with novel functionality and robustness. How do you do it?

"Well, if you believe the Jason-1 ground-control systems team, you do it the old-fashioned way: with disciplined teamwork (and maybe a few technical advantages).

"At least that's the message from the Jason Telemetry Command and Communications System (JTCCS) team. If you sit in on one of the project seminar video recordings (see Resources later in this article), you'll see for yourself the JPL emphasis on project management, good development processes, respect for individual capabilities, small-group nimbleness, and other well-established principles for getting the most from experienced professionals. The result: software deliverables that may have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to the record of other teams. NASA itself has already recognized JTCCS as a candidate for "Software of the Year" and is considering re-use of its assets for other ground-control jobs. The team achieved all this despite a number of obstacles: a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) so poorly supported by its vendor that it had to be abandoned, complementary projects that were behind schedule, personnel difficulties, and more..."

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