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The Galileo Energetic Particles Detector


Galileo EPD Handbook


Chapter 2. EPD Software


Energetic Particle Detector Experiment Flight Software System Documentation (continued)

Source: H. Malcom, July 30, 1982




Listed below are the major functions that are performed by the Galileo Energetic Particle Detection (EPD) software system:


  • Maintain synchronization to the spacecraft data system (CDS).
  • Decode and execute incoming commands.
  • Acquire and manage data from the various subsystems that make up the EPD experiment.
  • Monitor subsystem operations and report the presence of any abnormal conditions.
  • Format and provide telemetry data to the CDS.


In performing the above functions the EPD software operates as an interrupt driven system. These interrupt signals are generated by the Galileo spacecraft at the rate of 15 interrupts per second. The 76 bytes of data that constitute one low rate science (LRS) frame or packet are collected and processed during ten consecutive interrupt intervals. Thus one LRS frame is generated every 2/3 seconds. Two consecutive LRS frames constitute one logical record. One of the low rate science frames in the pair is referred to as an "even packet" and the other as an "odd packet." The leftmost bit of byte 9 within a packet indicates whether it is even (bit=0) or odd (bit=1). The 10 real time intervals within a packet time are numbered 0 through 9.


In addition to being either even or odd, each packet is associated with a number (the modulo 91 counter) between 0 and 90. This number can be computed from the modulo 7 counter (bits 2-4 of packet byte 9) and the modulo 13 counter (bits 5-8 of byte 9) as follows:


MOD91 = 7 x MOD13 + MOD7


The Mod 7 counter increments by 1 for each packet and the MOD 13 counter increments by 1 for every 7 packets. A spacecraft major frame consists of 91 consecutive packets (0 - 90).


The EPD software establishes and maintains synchronization with the spacecraft via real time clock information that arrives during real time interval number 8 of each packet. This clock information contains the real time interval number, the current MOD 91 value and an indication as to whether the packet is even or odd. Scheduling of the tasks to be performed by the EPD software system is based on the above interrupt structure and on the values of the modulo counters.  Figure 2.1 below shows this scheduling scheme for some of the more important tasks.


Figure 2.1:






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Updated 8/23/19, Cameron Crane


Manufacturer: The Galileo Spacecraft was manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, General Electric, and the Hughes Aircraft Company.

Mission Duration: Galileo was planned to have a mission duration of around 8 years, but was kept in operation for 13 years, 11 months, and 3 days, until it was destroyed in a controlled impact with Jupiter on September 21, 2003.

Destination: Galileo's destination was Jupiter and its moons, which it orbitted for 7 years, 9 months, and 13 days.