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Phoenix Science Interface (PSI) Tool Up and Running at the Phoenix Science Operations Center for the Mars Lander
(May 25, 2008)
Within hours of the successful landing of the Phoenix Mars Scout on May 25, 2008, the Phoenix Science Operations Team located in Tucson, Arizona began its use of the Phoenix Science Interface (PSI) tool that was developed jointly by teams at NASA Ames and JPL. PSI is based on Ensemble, a software platform for operations, inspired by the MER (Mars Exploration Rover) experience, which allows software from different teams to be integrated together into a single ops application. Michael McCurdy, Ames Human-Computer Interaction Researcher and Lead for the PSI delivery, observed, "From the second the data started popping out of the Multi-mission Imaging Processing Lab (MIPL) queue, nearly every workstation in the downlink area had PSI up with scientists poring over the images. Broad use of PSI didn't stop until late in the sequencing process. It was just like we planned."

The transition from image browsing to planning in PSI was also seamless. Miles Smith, the Science Plan Integrator (SPI) was able to drop in an observation at the request of the Robotic Arm team, position it, and validate the resource model within a matter of seconds. Mission personnel staffing the SPI and Strategic Science Planner (SSP) roles quickly became proficient at using PSI to make changes or field questions from the science team. Throughout Sol 0 (the first day of the mission) numerous PSI users and stakeholders commented on how well the software was working, and that there were no technical issues.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: October 13, 2021