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Empress RDBMS Aboard Galileo Space Probe

> > Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), builders of the Galileo spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), chose the EMPRESS Relational Database Management System as a key component for the Galileo spacecraft mission to study Jupiter and its surroundings. Aided by the EMPRESS RDBMS, Galileo uses celestial navigation for pinpoint descent of its probe toward Jupiter's surface.

EMPRESS RDBMS is used within POINTER (Planetary Observation Instrument Targeting, Encounter Reconnaissance), a subsystem of the Mission Sequence System (MSS). The MSS facility is used to plan, design, and assemble activities which the spacecraft is to perform during the course of the mission. The activities are a large set of sequentially organized commands which are transmitted to the spacecraft to be executed over a defined period.

The POINTER subsystem has a fundamental role in the collection of remote sensing science data. It provides geometry conditions of the spacecraft and celestial bodies in the solar system for the instrument science representatives to design remote sensing observations. On the Galileo project, Empress stores remote sensing observation command information and provides an interface for updating commands and editing functions for changing the contents of more than 30 database tables.

Other applications within Galileo involve loading command data from a sequence to the database tables, extracting command data from the database tables to a sequence file, and moving command information between the database and the remote sensing observation design program.

Jet Propulsion Labroratory chose EMPRESS RDBMS when designing Galileo because of its ability to quickly process huge amounts of bulk data in a usable format and its direct kernel interface. Any data a computer can store, such as, cloud and gas formations, temperatures, and instrumentation readings, can be used in the EMPRESS relational model. Since much of Galileo's command information will be collected and transmitted at the byte level, Empress' direct kernel interface is ideal for handling instrument positioning.


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