Ascending Node Technologies Wins Fourth NASA SBIR Phase I Grant for Spaceline® Planning Software

Spaceline's mission planning tool continues to add new capabilities, now allowing users to analyze their mission plans directly within Spaceline. Together with Spaceline's centralized kernel management architecture, users can easily design, analyze, and share spacecraft observations earlier in their mission planning process right in their browser.

TUCSON, Ariz. - Ascending Node Technologies, LLC., the maker of the Spaceline mission planning software, announced that it has been awarded a fourth Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NASA. Spaceline is a web-based tool supported by over a thousand distributed computational cores providing user-friendly, telemetry-based visualizations of spacecraft data for observation planning. This Phase I contract will be used to further expand Spaceline's functionality allowing users to analyze mission observation plans directly within the Spaceline planning tool using flight proven technologies.

One of the most common questions asked by mission stakeholders is how efficiently an observation fulfills mission requirements. Spaceline's new in-browser feature automatically allows users to answer these questions, drawing on a centralized, modeled data store that's derived from NAIF SPICE kernel metadata.

"High-fidelity observation planning capabilities are critical to achieving spacecraft mission goals, regardless of mission type or target," said Carl Hergenrother, Chief Scientist of Ascending Node Technologies. "Spaceline provides teams with the capability to maintain and track planning kernels across a project, streamlining a mission's processes."

The addition of this module in Spaceline's architecture provides an easily accessible platform for team members to communicate and collaborate while designing and analyzing intensive observations. With Spaceline's kernel management architecture, updates to kernels will easily propagate, allowing users to quickly and easily understand the impact of their upcoming observations.

"A common ecosystem for engineers and scientists to work across a mission can help reduce operational complexity," said Sanford Selznick, Chief Software Architect of Ascending Node Technologies. "The direct integration of complex science models and engineering tools into Spaceline's architecture allows users of all disciplines to analyze the impact of proposed observation plans, increasing efficiency and reducing risk."

This is Ascending Node's seventh SBIR award, having received previous Phase I and II contracts for the development of Spaceline. These highly competitive awards are designed to advance NASA's capabilities by supporting innovation from small businesses. Ascending Node was selected in this round for demonstrating the ability to implement computationally intensive analysis tools in an easy-to-use architecture for observation planning purposes. With this new award, Ascending Node will continue developing Spaceline to further establish its scientific, technical, and commercial merit for use in future interplanetary exploration missions.

About Ascending Node Technologies

Ascending Node Technologies, LLC, is a Tucson-based company that develops technology to allow spacecraft mission designers and operators to work better together. Spaceline is the company’s new web-based application that creates telemetry-based, interactive 3D visualizations of spacecraft operations right in your browser, which can then be shared across the mission team for easy collaboration and feedback. Ascending Node’s founders have more than half a century’s combined experience planning, developing and operating interplanetary exploration missions. In 2019 NASA ignited the development of Spaceline and has since awarded Ascending Node Technologies multiple SBIR contracts. Learn more at www.ascendingnode.tech.

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