Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Mission Planner Interface

As part of the Autonomous Rotorcraft Project, I was the main developer on the Mission Planner Interface (MPI). It’s a browser-based tool (requiring Firefox 1.5, Safari, or the latest Opera beta) that allows definition of observation targets that are sent off to the mission planner, which then creates a plan to visit all of the targets and then controls the heliocopter as it carries out the mission. One cool technical trick is that the MPI uses the new-fangled ‘Ajax’ ideas to talk to the plan execution system (well, talks to a server that talks to the system) so that, for example, the position of the helicopter is shown on the map, and to provide pan-and-zoom features (a la Google Maps). Another cool trick is using the new canvas feature in the above browsers to draw paths on the map. Yet another cool thing: you can play with a demo that runs a simulation of the mission planner. Drop down some observation targets, press ‘Send’, and watch the tiny helicopter fly around the screen–all in Javascript!

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One response to “Mission Planner Interface

  1. Kunal February 7, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Neat! I’m using a good amount of AJAX in some applications here at JPL. It’s cool to see other fellow NASA developers using it.

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