[CESG] [EXTERNAL] Mission Planning and Scheduling Blue Book agencies review approach

Shames, Peter M (US 312B) peter.m.shames at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Feb 15 20:54:21 UTC 2022

Dear Mario,

It will probably not come as any surprise that I hold an opinion on this that diverges from the one you stated.  I have pointed out, from the outset, that co-evolving these two tightly coupled standards was a recipe for trouble.

If I read this correctly, you are proposing to put the MP&S BB, which depends entirely on the SM&C BB for it’s data formats, message structures, and service interfaces, out for CESG and Agency review before the SM&C BB is finalized.

To put this in simple terms, that seems a lot like an author asking to publish a book written in a new language before the details of the language are settled and agreed.  Doesn’t seem like a very good idea to me.

I’m not interested in slowing forward progress, but I really think that this is out of order and is likely to make more work for all involved.

To my knowledge, nowhere else in CCSDS have we ever done this.  The closest analogy that comes to mind is in the CSS where the new CSTS standards all depend upon the CSTS specification framework (SFW).  The SFW (CCSDS 921.1-B-1) was created first and published in April 2017. This was then used to create the MD-CSTS standard (CCSDS 922.1-B-1) which was also published in April 2017 and then used for the TD-CSTS.  The SFW had to be updated when a new forward service was added, and the SFW v2 was published in Feb 2021 and then the FF-CSTS (CCSDS 922.3-B-1), that used that new version, was published in April 2021.

We have, in the SCCS-ARD MB, CCSDS 901.1-M-1, used some “forward references” to not yet finalized standards.  But this is an “encyclopedia style” recommended practice, and these forward references are all carefully marked [FUTURE].  I suppose if you wanted to adopt some similar [we are not yet certain of this] markings in this MP&S BB that you could do that, but I would not recommend it.

Best regards, Peter

From: CESG <cesg-bounces at mailman.ccsds.org> on behalf of CCSDS Engineering Steering Group - CESG Exec <cesg at mailman.ccsds.org>
Reply-To: Mario Merri <Mario.Merri at esa.int>
Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 12:19 PM
To: CCSDS Engineering Steering Group - CESG Exec <cesg at mailman.ccsds.org>
Cc: Peter van der Plas <Peter.van.der.Plas at esa.int>, Mehran Sarkarati <Mehran.Sarkarati at esa.int>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [CESG] Mission Planning and Scheduling Blue Book agencies review approach

Dear CESG,

the MP&S WG has proposed to MOIMS to initiate the Agency Review of their BB before the publication of the updated MAL BB, on which the MP&S BB depends. The goal is to hopefully speed up publication of both BBs.

Marc and I had some internal discussion and investigation with both the MP&S WG and the SM&C WG and we concluded to support this request and consult with the CESG to avoid false expectations and unnecessary work.

Our conclusion comes from the following points:

  *   Both WGs have closely worked together in the update of the MAL BB.
  *   To the best of the knowledge of both WGs, the agreed changes to the MAL BB are final and fully compatible with the MP&S BB.
  *   Should new significant discrepancies appear during the finalisation of the MAL BB, the MP&S WG agrees to update the document and go through another Agency Review.

It seems to us a win-win approach to the benefit of CCSDS. Please let us know any objections before end of February.

Best regards,

Marc & Mario

From: Peter van der Plas <Peter.van.der.Plas at esa.int<mailto:Peter.van.der.Plas at esa.int>>
Sent: 27 January 2022 11:51
To: Mario Merri <Mario.Merri at esa.int<mailto:Mario.Merri at esa.int>>; Duhaze Marc <Marc.Duhaze at cnes.fr<mailto:Marc.Duhaze at cnes.fr>>
Subject: Mission Planning and Scheduling Blue Book agencies review approach


The MP&S Blue Book is now nearing completion. However, the current work is based on some assumptions related to the evolution of the MO Services, where parallel work is ongoing in the SM&C WG.

The WG however considers it beneficial to initiate the agencies review of the Blue Book in the near term, in order not to delay our work and to ensure that the envisaged publication date remains feasible. The WG understands the risk that in case the current assumptions on the evolution of the MO Services are incorrect, an update of the Blue Book and therefore a second agencies review may be required.

In order to be clear towards external reviewers about the status of the Blue Book, the WG intends to provide a detailed list of assumptions and open issues together with the Blue Book, either in its introduction or as a separate addendum, whichever preferred.

The WG believes that the above mentioned risk is sufficiently mitigated by the fact that the work done in SM&C is closely followed by MP&S experts, and that the Blue Book is kept fully in line with the latest draft MAL specification. However, some artefacts such as the MP&S Service Specification can only be completed and validated once the implementation of the updated MAL API is made available by SM&C. This will merely impact the prototyping, which is currently being completed based on an older implementation of the MAL API.

In any case, the current Blue Book is complete in terms of specification of services and data types. In addition, file based exchange is supported, including the XML Schemas required for file validation.The WG expects to have the Blue Book and accompanying SANA artefacts available as input to the agencies review by the end of March 2022.

Could you please let me know if MOIMS agrees with the proposed approach for the MP&S Blue Book agencies review?



ESA - European Space Agency

Peter van der Plas
EGSE and Ground Systems section (TEC-SWG)
Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality

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