Mission Awareness provides guidance when creating a new tasking request on the potential satellite access times available to satisfy the tasking request. This tool can be used to determine the feasibility of a Point repeat task request cadence prior to submission to the Scheduler and, thus, increase the chance of the repeat task request being Accepted by the Scheduler.
To use Mission Awareness for planning repeat tasks, users need to download and analyze the list of potential satellite access times and associated metadata provided in a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file.
1. Navigate to the Create New Task page
Access opportunities for seven (7) days after Window Open are automatically displayed on the Create New Task page. Remain on the Single Task page.
2. Change the Window close date to 30 days from the Window Open Date
To understand the potential cadence of a repeat task request, expand the Optional Parameters and change the Window Close date to 30 days from the Window Open Date.
Click the now illuminated Refresh Access Times button to see the potential satellite access times for the next 30 days. The display under the Potential Satellite Access Times will update to display “Access opportunities for 30 days after Window open”.
3. Download the CSV file and open in your preferred software
The file will download as Access_Requests.csv. The following fields for each access opportunity will display in the CSV:
- Center WGS84
- Center ECEF
- Spacecraft ID
- Access ID
- Access Request ID
- Window Open
- Window Close
- Orbital Plane
- Orbit State
- Look Direction
- Local Mean Time
- Az Open
- Az Close
- Elev Min
- Elev Max
- Off-Nadir Min
- Off-Nadir Max
4. Filter the Orbital Plane column to determine which Orbital Plane has the largest number of opportunities
In this example, an Orbital Plane of 97 degrees has 35 access opportunities compared to 13 at 53 degrees and 19 at 45 degrees.
5. Filter the Orbit State column by ascending or descending
In this case, there are nearly the same number of descending versus ascending opportunities: 18 to 17.
6. Determine the available cadence for a repeat task using the Window Open and Window Close columns
Once the Access_Request CSV is filtered based on the Orbital Plane and Orbit State columns, the Window Open and Window Close columns can be used to determine the potential cadence. In this example, the first potential access opportunity is November 23 followed by November 28, November 30, December 5, December 7, and further in December.
The cadence of the potential access opportunities in November are 5 days, 2 days, 5 days, and 2 days. Based on this information, a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cadence are all feasible over the selected Point location.
7. Refine cadence further using Look Direction columns
Because the cadence between opportunities is less than 7 days (weekly), it may be possible to submit this repeat task for more frequent collection. To determine the feasibility of a more frequent collection, the Look Direction column can be used to filter the results further.
In this example, there are 9 potential access opportunities for both the right and left Look Direction. With a right Look Direction, the cadence changes to 5 days, 2 days, 7 days, 5 days, 2 days, and 7 days. Restricting the repeat task request to a particular Look Direction does not enable a daily or every-other-day tasking cadence.
8. Submit repeat task to the Scheduler
The repeat task request can now be submitted by navigating back to the Create New Task page and entering the following parameters:
- Tasking Tier: Routine
- Repeat Cycle: Weekly
- Orbital Plane: SSO: 97o (located under Optional Parameters)
The repeat task request will be Submitted to the Scheduler and the first task in the repeat series will be spawned by the System.
Remember, satellite access times in Mission Awareness should be seen as potentials rather than guarantees. Because the tool shows all access opportunities, including those already reserved by previously submitted task requests, there is no guarantee the first access opportunity will be assigned to the repeat task request. In this example, the first task request was Accepted and collected on the third available access opportunity, November 28.