SAM SIG: Software Architecture For Outer Space




    Presentation Overview

    How do scientists working with the Mars rovers access data generated by the various instruments? Or keep track of mission meetings that are scheduled on Mars time?

    The Collaborative Information Portal (CIP) is enterprise software developed at NASA Ames for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. The mission uses CIP ubiquitously during daily operations. Mission managers run it inside the mission control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the scientists and engineers access it throughout the world via the Internet in their laboratories, homes, and offices. CIP displays mission staffing and event schedules, and it shows the current time in various Mars and Earth time zones. Users can send and receive broadcast messages, and they can securely view and download data and image files generated by the rovers' instruments. Many users claim CIP is indispensable for their daily work.

    CIP has a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) based on industry standards including J2EE and web services, and it integrates commercial off-the-shelf software including Java and BEA's WebLogic application server. It performs well and is extremely reliable; it has run nonstop for stretches as long as 77 days, and it has been up over 99% of the time during the course of the mission.

    This talk will present an overview of the MER mission and how it uses CIP. It will describe the design decisions that made CIP so reliable, and what lessons were learned from its development, deployment, and support. The talk will conclude with a review of the Ten Martian Principles of Enterprise Development, including the five D's of software architecture.

    This will be an expanded and updated version of a keynote address presented in May at the BEA eWorld 2004 Conference.


    About the Presenters

    Speaker Bio

    Ronald Mak joined NASA Ames in March 2002 as a senior scientist. He was the architect and lead developer of the CIP middleware. Since CIP became operational in mid December 2003, he has been providing MER mission support at both Ames and at JPL.

    Ron has over 15 years of experience designing and developing enterprise software at startups and large companies in Silicon Valley. As an engineering manager at Sun Microsystems, he led a team that developed software toolkits for a distributed windowing system using technologies that eventually became part of the Java language. At Broadvision, he designed and built pioneering server software that dynamically generated Web pages, which enabled the company to become an early leader of Web-based e-commerce. He was the architect and principal developer of a medical information system at Caresoft, which he built using Java, CORBA, and the Internet. Prior to working on the Mars mission at NASA, Ron was at Knowledge Networks, where he designed a distributed system based on Java and WebLogic for creating and managing online surveys.

    Ron has taught graduate computer science courses at Santa Clara University, and he is the author of books on numerical computing and on compiler writing. He has degrees in the Mathematical Sciences and in Computer Science from Stanford University.


    Event Logistics


    Cubberley Community Center

    4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1

    Palo Alto, CA


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments / Pizza

    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentations



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members

    No charge for SDForum members

    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships

    No registration required

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