Mission Support Rooms


The Mission Support Centre (MSC) represents the key element for allowing the PMM/MPLM Engineering Team to provide the sustaining engineering of MPLM/PMM. The MSC is part of the network developed by ASI to support the activities related to the ISS, ASINet. Through ASINet the MSC is connected to the JSC and KSC NASA centres. The MSC provides support real time during the PMM/MPLM mission operations, receiving real time data from Shuttle and ISS, providing access to mission voice loops and live video, as well as to mission archived data, to support mission simulations, to support real time ground test execution on PMM/MPLM at KSC and to access to all mission archived data for trend analysis. The MSC has been also equipped with a dedicated console with some capabilities allowing access to MSFC resources for P/L support. Several MSC capabilities, in particular Voice Loops and Video, can be extended to support P/L operations (as done during HPA and Elite S2 execution on board ISS). The MSC is composed by seven consoles:

  •   Team Leader
  •   Operations & Logistics
  •   Avionica
  •   Controllo Ambientale
  •   Software
  •   Safety
  •   Ground Control

Six are dedicated to the engineering team and one to the ground controller, each of them having a workstation, for receiving real time telemetry data and data archive, a pc for database, documentation and data processing and the voice loop system for voice communication with NASA centres. ALTEC has developed the architecture of the ALTEC MSC and the software used for data management and archive.  


ALTEC has created an Engineering Support Center – ESC – to provide support to the ESA programs developed within the International Space Station program (Columbus, Payloads, ATV). The ESC is connected directly to the Columbus Control Center (near Monaco of Bavaria) as well as several European centers responsible for the on orbit operation of the various payloads (EDR, FSL, SOLAR).
The Centre receives telemetry data directly from COL-CC during the working day, while taking a morning back-up data of the previous night. In this way all the telemetry of Columbus and the  P/L's is stored at the Centre to be revisited later in the event of faults or to perform the system efficiency forecast in a short-term period.
In addition, the Centre is equipped with a "voice loops" system that can readily interact with operators located in the COL-CC. Finally, a video system completes the infrastructure, essential to follow all the operations carried out by astronauts during delicate maintenance tasks on board.
The support provided by the ESC consist of:

  •   Real-time support, when the assets are linked to what happens in real time on the Space Station. These require specific tools, an adequate infrastructure in terms of safety, organization of teams and specific procedures.
  •   Off-line support, when activities have longer times and are generally carried out with the help of mathematical models, databases, documents relating to the design and simulators.


The Supervision & Coordination Station (SSC) has five dedicated workstations supporting the “demo” mission of SMAT-F1 with a hardware configuration divided in two parts:

  •   SSC "server", which houses the central database of the SSC, the telemetry acquisition processes and related process, data storage and distribution functions;
  •   SSC "client", which hosts the user applications to access data telemetry and sensor data, retrieve the information stored for viewing or for further processing