The care and feeding of the JWST on-board event-driven system

Computer Science

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

The software architecture of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) includes an operational layer implemented by on-board JavaScripts that orchestrate event-driven operations. Request files specifying up to ten days of high-level science and engineering tasks and a time-ordered execution list are uploaded periodically to the on-board event-driven system. The processing of these files is dictated by on-board events. The tasks execute within their specified windows or could be skipped due to an isolated anomaly, such as a guide star locate failure. For each high-level task, the necessary flight software commands are constructed on-board according to operational rules, and positive completion confirmation is required before proceeding to the next flight software command. The event-driven nature of JWST operations presents challenges to the Science and Operations Center being constructed at the Space Telescope Science Institute. This paper will outline the design implications on science and engineering operations planning, flight real-time operations, and post-observation data management. Included will be descriptions of how the Operations Center 1) plans time-windowed tasks to ensure that the event-driven system will remain scientifically productive even when anomalies occur, 2) interfaces with and monitors JWST event-driven operations, and 3) records Observatory status information for each science image.

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