This document describes the uplink commanding system for the ESA Gaia mission. The need for commanding, the main actors, data flow and systems involved are described. The system architecture is explained in detail, including the different levels of configuration control, software systems and data models. A particular subsystem, the automatic interpreter of human-readable onboard activity templates, is also carefully described. Many lessons have been learned during the commissioning and are also reported, because they could be useful for future space survey missions.
This paper describes the FRACTAL Systems & Projects suite. This suite is composed by several tools (GECO, DOCMA
and SUMO) that provide the capabilities that all organizations need to store and manage the system information
generated along the project's lifetime, from the design phase to the operation phase.
The amount of information that is generated in a project keeps growing in size and complexity along the project's
lifetime, to an extent that it becomes impossible to manage it without the aid of specific computer-based tools. The suite
described in this paper is the solution developed by FRACTAL to assist the execution of different scientific projects,
mainly related with telescopes and instruments, for astronomical research centres. These tools help the system and
project engineers to maintain the technical control of the systems and to ensure an optimal use of the resources.
GECO eases the control of the system configuration data; DOCMA provides the means to organise and manage the
documents generated in the project; SUMO allows managing and scheduling the operation, the maintenance activities
and the resources during the operational phase of a system. These tools improve the project communication making the
information available to the authorized users (project team, customers, Consortium's members, etc). Finally and
depending on the project needs, these three tools can be used integrated or in an independent manner.