Shift Log Tools

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    David W. Scott

    NASA’S Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) operates the Payload Operations Integration Center (POIC) for payload (e.g., scientific experiment) operations aboard the International Space Station (ISS) – “Mission Control for payloads.” Each console position (some 24/7, some covering 1 or 2 shifts 5 to 7 days a week) maintains a console log whose primary purpose is “a brief narrative of significant operational events.”

    This definition goes back decades to the Spacelab Program of the 1980s and 1990s, and the concept of operations logs literally goes back to ancient times. Today’s technology makes it possible to capture an incredible amount of data. Operations personnel have a natural tendency to strive for comprehensiveness, so the challenge now is robust capture yet simple presentation.

    For almost 10 years, each console position has had its own independent log, tailored somewhat to position-unique needs, implemented with Filemaker Pro. It’s worked well, but we’d like to progress to a web-based, integrated approach that includes controllable social features (e.g., restricted log entry creation to the console operator but allow authorized parties to add comments, permit console positions to view each other’s logs with configurable display options, etc.), attachment/hyperlink capabilities, and so forth.

    An attached white paper from the International Space Ops 2010 Conference
    suggests some ideas, but a lot has happened since April ’10!

    We’d love to hear about other existing and/or planned electronic log keeping concepts/capabilities.

    Many thanks,

    Dave Scott, a.k.a. “Scotty”
    NASA EO50 – Ground Systems Development and Integration
    Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC)
    Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812

    256-544-3226 office
    256-227-0339 cell
    [email protected]
    Skype: noodnurg

    P.S. There’s a wiki similar to this one at

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