A research aircraft mission involve measuring atmospheric situations of interest along a flight path. These missions typically involve a wide range of unique instruments developed and operated by different scientific institutions, with different requirements and operating conditions. The Mission Support System is a software to solve these conditions.
The division of the software into components is necessary because large amounts of data can only be processed in data centers while the scientists are in regions with the lowest Internet bandwidth.
The Mission Support System (MSS) software consists of several components.
- an enhanced OGC webmap server capable of visualizing the large data generated by complex 3-D atmospheric simulations in a highly configurable manner and delivering the resulting small PNG images over the Internet
- a GUI that inserts a flight path on the images transmitted by the OGC webmap server
- a socketIO based server that synchronizes the flight paths among the participants simultaneously.
In order to measure at the most scientifically interesting locations, model predictions of relevant variables such as meteorological parameters, chemical composition, or particle information are necessary to guide the aircraft to the location of interest. The Mission Support System enables the planning of optimal flight path by visualizing the results of model simulations in combination with the selected flight path, allowing for a simple iterative and collaborative improvement process.