Editing RPI Operational Settings with EdRPI

Contact: Ivan Galkin
Started: June 23, 1999
Last changed: April 9, 2001


1. RPI Commanding Overview

Commanding of RPI is complicated by the following factors: To avoid direct specification of each individual measurement start time for many hours ahead, a concept of an RPI schedule is introduced. One schedule allows to create a sequence of measurement programs with given start times; this sequence is repeated in an "endless" loop, until the time comes to switch to the next schedule. Thus, RPI can be supplied with a set of schedules, each targeting a specific scientific goal, and switch them appropriately as the spacecraft orbits Earth.

Specification of an automated RPI operation therefore includes:

Correspondingly, RPI stores in its computer memory three control data structures: It is expected that programs and schedules will eventually become stable, and only new SST tables will be occasionally uplinked to the spacecraft. A period of mission time when RPI does not require any new control data from the ground is called a "lights-out" period.

If by the end of a lights-out period no new SSTs are available to further select schedules, RPI uses a set of default schedules #30, #31, and #32 that are designed to conduct a generic  measurement sequence.

For further information please refer to RPI Commanding document.

2. Version Control with CVS

A number of contributors are likely to design RPI programs, schedules and SST tables. To facilitate an organized team work, one master set of RPI controlling data structures is maintained at a central location, and the contributors are given means for accessing the master set over Internet. During the pre-mission period, any contributor is able to: CVS (Concurrent Versions System) is a popular free version management system available for many platforms, including all major flavors of unix, Linux, Windows and MacOS. CVS orchestrates the work of individual contributors making sure that none of the changes are lost, and any of the changes can be rolled back.

3. EdRPI and jCVS Installation Guide

RPIAnywhere Suite installation page gives instructions for many platforms. RPIAnywhere Suite inclides EdRPI, jCVS, BinBrowser and PostPro1.
jCVS has to be configuired to work with the Lowell depository of RCD files. (RCD files contain all relevant information on RPI operations.) The following is the configuration steps:
  1. Start jCVS
  2. If a "Need Temp Dir" window appears:

  3. jCVS is unhappy that the default temporary directory is missing during the configuration. By default, it is "C:\TEMP". Please change it to something more appropriate, e.g. "." (works even on the Machintosh!).
  4. Left panel, click on folder "Work Bench".
  5. Find a button "Add a new project" on the top toolbar. This is the one with a red plus sign and a folder tree.
  6. "Select a project to add" window appears (jCVS searches for the "Entries" file.) Navigate to the folder "RPIAnywhere"--"WeeklyRCD"--"CVS" (the file "Entries" is there, select it and OK it.)
  7. "WorkBench Definition" window appears, with Brief Name "Weekly RCD". Set Display Name to "Weekly RCD". This is just a screen name you will see in your Work Bench.
Configuration completed.

4. Working with EdRPI v2.1

EdRPI is a utility capable of editing RPI control data sets and exporting them in a format suitable for uploading to RPI. EdRPI works with a single "RCD" (RPI Control Data) file containing programs, schedules and SSTs that are individually timestamped, entitled and supplied with a contact person information. A collection of RCD files may be kept under version control, each targeting a specific mission period. The initial EdRPI distribution set contains one RCD file, Intro.RCD.

4.1. Updating to the latest versions

Always make sure you are working with the correct (latest) version of RCD files and EdRPI software. If you make changes to your local copy of an RCD file whose master copy has been changed by somebody else, you will not be able to update the master copy. Regretfully, at this time no reliable mechanism exists that would merge your changes to the changed master copy. So please update your local copies of RCD files before you start working with them.

To update the local files to match the master files,

4.2. Starting up EdRPI

Depending on the computer performance, startup of EdRPI takes anywhere between 5 seconds and 1 minute. A progress bar is provided to monitor the loading process. After the loading is complete, the File menu becomes active, with two enabled items, New and Open. Use them to open existing RCD files or start a new set of RPI Control Data.

4.3. Editing programs with EdRPI

The Program Editor Panel consists of

Use the Program List to browse through the available (up to 64) programs. Program examples can be found in the RPI Commanding document. If you make changes to the program in the right panel, you will have to either save them, or  undo them.

Saving a program does not update the current RCD file. You can save RCD file at any time from the File menu.

4.4. Editing schedules with EdRPI

The Schedule Editor Panel consists of

Use the Schedule List to browse through the available (up to 32) schedules. In each schedule, 60 entries are provided , arranged in three columns of grey buttons enumerated from 00 to 59. A program can be scheduled to run at any of the entries by clicking on the Entry # button.

The program number is specifed inside the yellow text box. To fine tune the time of the program start, a text field is provided to specify the start offset in sec. The blue time label indicates the program start relative to the beginning of the schedule period. This time is equal to (Entry-# times Entry-Interval) plus Start-offset. The Entry-Interval is selected using the slider on the top of the schedule editor.

The estimated duration of the program is used to indicate portion of the Schedule Period taken by the program. If two programs are overlapping in time, the conflict will be shown in red. Programs can be removed from the schedule by another click on the Entry # button.

If you make changes to the schedule displayed on the right, you will have to either save them, or  undo them.

Saving a schedule does not update the current RCD file. You can save RCD file at any time from the File menu.

4.5. Saving changes to RCD file

Changes made to programs and schedules can be saved to an RCD file from the File menu, using Save and Save As options.