Marshall Space Flight Center
Space Systems Programs & Projects Office
(Acting Program Manager)
The Communications and Public Outreach group is responsible for communicating Chandra's scientific results to the public through press and image releases and associated products such as blogs, podcasts, infographics, social media and other press and outreach activities. In addition, the group is responsible for carrying out SMD-themed outreach and education activities under NASA's collaborative education award such as public exhibits, coding workshops, development of 3D and tactile materials, and student data analysis activities.
The Chandra Director's Office (CDO) represents the Chandra observers (GO and GTO) and assists the Director in the running of the CXC. This group is responsible for coordination with the Chandra Users' Committee, interfacing with users (including sending Chandra Announcements and publishing the Chandra Newsletter), and the observing-proposal submission and review process. CDO also runs the Einstein Fellowship program and plans the annual Chandra Workshop.
The Flight Operations Team (FOT) is responsible for the health and safety of the spacecraft, including communication support, telemetry support, spacecraft trend analysis, and maintenance.
A Flight Director Board meets at the OCC on a weekly basis to review and approve all recommended changes to technical processes or operations procedures, and to track any outstanding spacecraft issues.
FOT Mission Planning works with scientists and engineers to produce a detailed operations schedule, liaises with NASA's Deep Space Network to provide communications support, and prepares the command loads.
Spacecraft Engineering deals with spacecraft problem resolution, on-orbit trend analysis, maintenance tasks, and develops procedures for future operations.
The Flight Software Team is responsible for development and verification of all required patches to the spacecraft's flight software. They also develop and maintain software tools that support Online Operations, Mission Planning, and Spacecraft Engineering.
The Factory Support Team is a cadre of engineers, including responsible design engineers and subsystem specialists, from the spacecraft factory in Redondo Beach California. They support the Spacecraft Engineering in resolution of spacecraft anomalies. Members of the Factory Support Team are not part of the CXC Staff; they work strictly on as as-needed basis.
The Operations Control Center, located at a separate secure location in Cambridge MA, houses the systems used to send commands to the Chandra X-ray Observatory and receive the telemetry data for astronomy and engineering.
The Integrations and Ground Software Maintenance Team supports all Ground System software development and maintenance used at OCC. Additionally provides ground system technical support, architectural engineering and system design.
The Ground Operations Team (GOT) controls the ground system in support of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. They configure and monitor the communications links, ensuring successful receipt of the telemetry data, and relaying it for ground processing. They operate on a 19 hour/7 days a week schedule and are responsible for the day-to-day operations of all the hardware/software needed to support real time operations as well as simulations and training. They are the first point of contact in regards to problems, questions, or concerns about the ground system. Outside of normal business hours, they are also the main point of contact in regards to facility/security issues.
The Science Division team is a superset of Mission Planning, Calibration, Operations Science Support, Instrument teams, and Science Data System Planning. The Science Division's responsibility is to maximize Chandra science return by optimizing spacecraft operations. It includes planning for and responding to various failures and degradations, using on-board software and ground operations software and procedures. They interface directly with the Observers to assure the correct configuration of each observation. They also directly support the reviews to assure that all detailed planning and commanding of the spacecraft is correct.
The Operations and Science Support (OSS) group is responsible for the safe and efficient operations of ACIS, HRC, and the Aspect Camera to ensure the highest quality science from the Chandra mission. The OSS group works closely with the Flight Operations Team and the CXC MP team to verify that the instruments are configured properly for the observations requested by the General Observers and that the instruments operate as expected. This team is primarily responsible for recognizing instrument anomalies and responding with appropriate actions. This group is responsible for monitoring instrument performance in conjunction with the CXC calibration group and developing new procedures and operating modes to enhance performance.
This group provided review of science instrument and aspect camera systems requirements, design, development and verification prior to launch. They worked directly with the IPI and contractor teams in many cases to assist in calibrations and become familiar with the operation of the hardware.
Chandra's accomplishments require that the telescope, science instruments, and other spacecraft systems (such as the aspect star camera) be fully calibrated on the ground and in orbit. The CXC is responsible for collecting and archiving the calibration data, coordinating the analysis of the data, archiving the results of the analysis, and making the data and the analysis results available to Chandra users.
The CXC performs the initial and on-going on-orbit calibrations. This involves observation of celestial sources, as well as observations where the instrument is not at the telescope focus, in order to measure instrument backgrounds and characteristics.
The CXC also generates and updates calibration models and parameters. During on-orbit operations, periodic re-verification and re-determination of the calibration models and parameters are required to account for variations and aging effects in the telescope system and SIs, and for unforeseen operating characteristics in the space environment. The CXC monitors the state of calibration of the instruments and telescope, and initiates calibration actions.
The CXC is responsible for ensuring that Chandra observations are carried out in a manner that satisfies the science requirements of the observers while maximizing the overall observing efficiency along with any spacecraft operational constraints. The scheduling of targets must take into account factors such as the relative positions of the sun, earth, and spacecraft as well as any special observing constraints. Examples of the latter could include simultaneous observations of a particular object with another satellite/ground-based observatory, or several observations to monitor variability. The scheduling process must also provide rapid response for "Targets of Opportunity", such as supernovae or other episodic events. For information on user interaction with Mission Planning, see the Chandra Observation Scheduling page.
SDS provides user support for science data analysis by producing software documentation including analysis guides and data analysis threads, as well as direct user support via technical backup for the Helpdesk. SDS also develops algorithms and software requirements to make sure that the CXC data products and analysis software continue to serve the user community's needs.
The DS Division provides: (1) software and system support to CXC science operations, including peer review, mission planning, monitoring and trends analysis, calibration and science support, and all data operations; (2) end to end CXC data operations, including pipeline processing of satellite data, Chandra source catalog processing, trusted repository data archive with browsing and distribution interfaces; (3) software user tools (CIAO); (4) development and distribution of the Chandra CalDB.
The Hardware & Systems group supports CXC data processing and archive operations, software development and science activities by providing and maintaining hardware and operating systems for all these functions. This group also support special CXC off-site events, such as workshops, presentations and demos at conferences and peer reviews.
The Chandra X-ray Center Data System (CXCDS) software team is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of the data system that provides end-to-end scientific software support for Chandra X-ray Observatory mission operations. The data system includes the following components:
A subset of the science data processing component is ported to multiple platforms and distributed to end-users as a portable data analysis package (CIAO). Web-based user tools are also available for data archive search and retrieval.
The Chandra Archive Operations Team is responsible for maintaining the Chandra Data Archive.
After data have been processed through Automated Processing (AP) and passed Validation and Verification (V&V), their ingestion into the Archive is overseen by the Chandra Archive Operations Team.
This group ensures the integrity of the archive and its databases; maintains the AP status, Chandra bibliography, FITS keyword, and operational databases, including the proposal database and the mission-critical observation catalog; provides support to all other CXC groups, including MP, CDO, and grants; oversees and organizes operational testing of CXC-DS software releases; participates in the development and production of the Chandra Source Catalog; is responsible for data distribution; provides support to the user community; and controls the public release of proprietary data.
The Archive Operations team is also responsible to provide a measure of the overall scientific impact of the mission by monitoring and measuring the usage of Chandra data in the literature. In addition, it maintains ties with other NASA data centers, the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the research libraries in astronomy, and the Digitization Office of the Smithsonian Institution; provides informational e-mails to users, works with the database team on the development of archive interfaces, and supports mirror sites such as the HEASARC at Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Data Processing Operations Team processes the Chandra data after it has been received at the Operations Control Center (OCC). Pipeline Processing is used to convert the data from its raw (telemetered) form into Level 2 science products (see the Guide to Chandra Data Archive Products.) All resulting data products are ingested in the Chandra Data Archive, and following Verification & Validation, are distributed to the users. This Team is also responsible for special processing of problem data, and for the testing of the operational software.
The Systems Engineering team is responsible for end-to-end system, ground system, and process engineering for the Chandra mission. It also provides the mission’s programmatic and technical interface with the Deep Space Network (DSN).
The Chandra X-Ray Center (CXC) is operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Smithsonian Institution, Copyright © 1998-2017. All rights reserved.