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!


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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