GOES-R Enterprise Management: It’s All About Service
The ground system to support the GOES-R mission is spread across three locations and includes thousands of servers and hundreds of computer processors and workstations—each loaded with software—to support the GOES-R Mission Management, Product Development, and Product Distribution functions. To help keep all of these components working together smoothly, Harris designed an Enterprise Management system based on a service-oriented architecture approach.
The key word here is service. Let me explain.
An Enterprise Management system—any Enterprise Management system—provides a common infrastructure and common services for its components, and it monitors operations across the enterprise. In the case of GOES-R, which needs to put important weather data into the hands of the National Weather Service and other forecasters quickly, the ground system must be up and running dependably around the clock. Engineers call the time that a system is operational as its “availability,” and in the case of the GOES-R ground system, the goal is extremely high.
To reach Harris’ target of only a few minutes (or less) of downtime per year, we designed a service-oriented architecture, or SOA, to manage the GOES-R ground enterprise. This SOA organizes the ground system into services, each of which represents a specific capability that sometimes applies to the whole ground system and sometimes is specific to one satellite or site. This makes it possible to quickly identify and address any failures and anomalies that may occur.
A Single View into Operational Status
The GOES-R Enterprise Management system encompasses the services at all three GOES-R ground sites and determines their operational status multiple times each minute. This information is displayed in a single dashboard view so that an operator can determine the state of the entire system at a glance, quickly determine when an anomaly has occurred, and easily see what other operational services are available to take over the mission. Through the dashboard’s simple graphical user interface, the operator can perform the necessary startup, shutdown, handover, and failover services from one site to another.
Flexibility to Accomplish the GOES-R Mission…and More
Managing the GOES-R ground enterprise as separately monitored and controlled SOA services provides a great deal of operational flexibility. For example, the GOES-R series will include two satellites that will be generating weather products at the same time. If a problem or maintenance activity prevents the primary facility from producing products from both satellites, an operator can assign a backup facility to assist. This is because the services that generate weather products from satellite data are controlled on a per-satellite basis regardless of the sensor, the satellite, or the orbit.
In other words, an operator has the flexibility to perform a mission with whatever services are operational at any of the GOES-R sites.
When a switchover from one site to another is required, GOES-R’s robust ground system architecture enables the switchover to be accomplished in less than five minutes—without manual intervention. This can be done for the entire system or for selected functionalities, such as flying the satellite, command and control of the satellite’s instruments, or processing and distributing the data.
And here’s one more important service that the Enterprise Management system brings to the GOES-R ground system: flexibility. Because the SOA services are based on industry standards rather than custom built, they are not limited to performing their duties only for GOES-R. Other legacy systems or future constellations can be added without changing the architecture—and potentially saving the government and taxpayers a lot of money.
So when you think about managing the complex GOES-R enterprise, remember: it’s all about service.