Planning for Space Telescopes: Survey, Case Studies, and Lessons Learned


C. Pralet, S. Roussel (ONERA), J. Jaubert (CNES), J. Queyrel (ONERA)

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In this article, we present planning and scheduling techniques that we developed for optimizing the operations of space telescopes. The latter are satellites whose mission is to observe celestial objects such as planets, exoplanets, stars, or galaxies. After a survey of some existing mission planning tools, we present three case studies that we tackled using a constraint-based optimization and operations research approach, with for each case study the lessons that we learned. Based on these, we propose future work directions related to the development of generic mission planning tools, to the management of uncertain events, and to the definition of a global mission planning concept for several telescopes.