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Space Environment Information System for Mission Control Purposes


  • UNINOVA – Institute for the Development of New Technologies
  • DEIMOS Engenharia

Technical Group

Spacecraft and Aircraft

SDA objective

The objective of the system is to provide an integrated data solution based on relevant information to FCTs (Flight Control Teams) to support decision-making processes about how to react to ongoing space weather conditions. Furthermore the system increases awareness and understanding of space weather and its effects on spacecraft performance. All together, it should lead to more efficient operations and possibly to an increase of the quality of the services as well as the safety of the payloads. The system will provide services for the INTEGRAL, ENVISAT and XMM missions.


Integrated Space Weather historical, real-time and forecasted data collection archive, Automatic Report Generator and Near Real-Time Monitoring Tools.

Link to Project WebSite
(please refer to this site for more information)

SDA description

Keeping the spacecraft (S/C) healthy and productive is the responsibility and the main concern of the S/C flight control team (FCT). Space weather includes effects and conditions that favour the aging of a S/C and its instruments, e.g. degradation of sensors and solar arrays by charged particles and single event upsets (SEU). It is worth to stress out that it is hard to detect when the environmental conditions of a S/C are safe and when they are hazardous. So far, the most widely used approach of a FCT to counteract these effects has been to play safe. Playing safe, i.e. invoking counter measures early enough and keeping them for a long enough period, is a means to reduce the risk, but it is not the most efficient one. The dynamics of space weather could lead to situations where the instruments are shielded hours before the conditions become really hazardous. On the other hand it might happen that the FCT assumes safe conditions long before they actually are. Clearly the S/C productivity – i.e. the observation time – is being affected by this approach.
A major concern is the availability and acquisition of data. A lot of space weather data is available from many sources in different formats and predictions are scarce and often not directly applicable to an individual S/C. It is therefore almost impossible for a FCT member to consider all these sources. Furthermore the available sources for space weather data provide their data offline or at best near real-time. Therefore the S/C may be already in a hazardous environment when the FCT receives this information.
A decision support system is currently being implemented for ESA. Entitled “Space Environment Information System for Mission Control Purposes (SEIS)” the system integrates a huge variety of space weather data from different sources as well as S/C telemetry data from running missions. All this data is stored it in a data-warehouse.
Having S/C and space weather data available from one single source, facilitates the analysis of this data therefore enhancing user awareness of space weather effects and possible cause-effect relationships between space weather events and S/C anomalous conditions.
The system provides an interface to external applications to include data produced by physical models* for the space environment and its effects (AP-8, AE-8-MAX/ Vampola ESA-SEE-1, VampolaMEAINTEG, VampolaMEAMAX, VampolaMEAPROB, CRÈME, IRI-2001, Carpenter-Anderson, Garret-DeForest, Sibeck, ECSS Analytical Model, ECSS Analytical Model, ECSS Reference Spectrum, IGRF, Tsyganenko 92, MSIS-E-90) – 3M (Multi Mission Component). Furthermore, trained artificial neural networks or other plug-in tools can access all the data and produce forecasts for certain parameters. These forecasts can be fed back into the data-warehouse and be used for monitoring, analysis and operations planning.
The reference mission for SEIS is INTEGRAL, ESA’s gamma ray observatory. It also includes data from other ESA missions: ENVISAT and XMM. The main objective for INTEGRAL is to maximize the payload instruments’ time while operating in safe condition, resulting in an increase of the S/C’s productivity.
The system is a prototype whose objective is the proof of concept for new emerging technologies applicable to the mission operations domain, increasing the quality and effectiveness of mission operations management.
Next figures provide a snapshot of the two frontend SEIS system Tools:

Figure 1 - Reporting and Analisys Tool (Data Catalogue Browser window).

Figure 2 – Monitoring Tool (S/C and S/W virtual panel window)


UNINOVA - Institute for the Development of New Technologies ( UNINOVA - CA3 ), Caparica, Portugal

DEIMOS Engenharia ( DEIMOS ), Lisbon, Portugal



Uninova would like to thank the follwing institutions for their data support, thus making the SEIS project possible:

- NOAA/SEC - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Space Environment Center
(Anonymous FTP files are provided as a public service by the NOAA/SEC. Information presented is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Space Environment Center, Boulder, CO, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, US Dept. of Commerce)
Web address:

- NOAA/NGDC - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Geophysical Data Center
(Sunspot minima and maxima data available from the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), located in Boulder, Colorado, is a part of the US Department of Commerce (USDOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)).
Web address:

- Kyoto World Data Centre for Geomagnetism
(QL-Dst in near real time is being provided with the cooperation of Kakioka [JMA], Honolulu and San Juan [USGS], Hermanus [RSA], Alibag [IIG] and CRL,
INTERMAGNET and many others).
Web address:

- Lomnicky Peak's Neutron Monitor
(PM Data is being retrieved from Neutron Monitor at Lomnický stít is supported by the IEP SAS in Kosice and by VEGA grant 1147).
Web address:

- NNG - Near-Earth Navigation and Geodesy
(Near-Earth navigation and geodesy activities are carried out by a team within the Navigation Support Office (OPS-GN) at ESOC).
Web address:

- SIDC - RWC Belgium
World Data Center for the Sunspot Index
(SIDC, RWC Belgium, World Data Center for the Sunspot Index, Royal Observatory of Belgium. Data (1918-2004)).
Web address:

- SOHO - Celias/MTOF/PM Sensoring data
(CELIAS/MTOF experiment on the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. SOHO is a joint European Space Agency, United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission).
Web address:

- Space Weather Technologies - SpaceWx
(SOLAR2000 Research Grade historical irradiances are provided courtesy of W. Kent Tobiska and These historical irradiances have been developed with funding from the NASA UARS, TIMED, and SOHO missions).
Web address:

- Wilcox Solar Observatory - WSO
(WSO is supported by ONR, NASA, and NSF, and directed by Prof. P.H. Scherrer).
Web address:

- ESOC/ESA - Flight Dynamics products
(We thank ESOC for making available INTEGRAL and XMM Fligh Dynamics data files - Used under the scope of the SEIS project only.)
Web address: n/a

- Lasco CME List
(This CME catalog is generated and maintained by NASA and The Catholic University of America in cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA).
Web address:

- UNINOVA also wishes to thank Daniel Heynderickx ( from BIRA - Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy ( for his colaboration in the project, which allowed the use of BIRA's space weather estimation models contained in the SPENVIS package.

Contact / Manager

Rita Ribeiro CA3 Manager (UNINOVA)
Nuno Viana Project Manager (UNINOVA)
Address: CA3 - Softcomputing & Autonomous Agents Group
Quinta da Torre
2829-516 Caparica
Telephone: +351 21 294 9625
Telefax: +351 21 294 1253
Luís Felipe Peñin WP Manager (DEIMOS Engenharia)
Address: Deimos Engenharia Lda.
Pólo Tecnológico de Lisboa, Lote 1
Estrada do Paço do Lumiar
1600-546 Lisboa
Lisboa - Portugal
Telephone: +351 21 710 1105
Telefax: +351 21 710 1106

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