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Senior Project - Space Balls


Commanding, Monitoring, and System Log Parser for Payloads on the International Space Station

Senior Project: 2009-2010
Peter Carr, John (JP) Ford, Benjamin Golden, Tyler Knappe and Sean Usher

BioServe Space Technologies is a center within the University of Colorado Boulder. For over 20 years, the Center has specialized in conducting microgravity life science research and designing and developing space flight hardware. BioServe is a full service, turn key organization that not only provides space flight hardware but can successfully guide novice and experienced researchers, organizations and commercial companies through the process of conducting life science research on board the space shuttle, International Space Station (ISS) or other space flight vehicle.

BioServe uses a command system to communicate with payloads. BioServe's current command system does not allow for storage of commands between sessions nor does it have a unified test and live commanding interface, which requires users to retype tested commands into the live system, opening more room for error. BioServe's monitoring system also has some shortcomings. At the moment users are unable to receive relative information on the status of the payloads unless the user is physically located inside the commanding room. In addition, to search for errors in logs, BioServe operators currently have to search files manually using a grep command line or visual text editor find features. The goal of this project was to replace the current commanding and monitoring system as well as to provide an interface to ease the process of searching through log files.

The completed project includes a system for sending commands, a system for monitoring payloads in real-time, and a system for easily searching log files.

  • The Command System has a single interface for sending commands to the live and test system as well as storing the commands that have been tested. These stored commands are persistent across sessions and are shared among all instances of the Command System.

  • The Monitoring System allows for real-time monitoring of all of the payloads on the International Space Station, and when sensors report certain aspects are out of a safe range, the BioServe operators can be alerted by email or SMS message.

  • The System Log Parser allows BioServe operators to search system logs using regular expressions. Expressions can be generated by hand and date and time regular expressions can be automatically generated. These regular expressions can be stored into a master library, edited, added to groups, and finally used for log file parsing. The System Log Parser provides two modes of text output after matching: the first provides line granularity results, while the latter provides character granularity results.

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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May 5, 2012 (14:07)