JPL's IMAGE PROCESSING LABORATORY HISTORY
Multimission Instrument Processing Laboratory (MIPL) - 2005 and beyond
Under new management and directions from NASA Headquarters, the scope of the multimission-sponsored components of the MIPL expanded to include additional forms of mission instrument data processing, not only science imagery; hence, a portion of the name change from "Image" to "Instrument". NASA's Advanced Multilmission Operations System (AMMOS) element providing the instrument data processing related tools and services used by solar system missions (or Projects) supported by the MIPL is performed by the reorganized/refocused Instrument Operations Subsystem (IOS) of the AMMOS (formerly Instruments Software Systems – ISS).
The push to move existing client-server and stand-alone software architectures to state-of-the-art web-based services is a priority to provide more flexibility and efficiency for distributed operations. The data systems within the MIPL is evolving to upgrade the infrastructure with newer Sun Solaris along with a move towards more Linux Redhat servers, Network Attached Storage (NAS) RAIDs, online instead of tape backups, and the use of a "Service Center" for managing customer accounts.
Since 2005, the MIPL has supported the following missions/projects (in addition to those still in operation from 1995-2005 eras, such as MER/CAS/Spitzer):
Multimission Image Processing System - 2000-2005
During this period, the MIPS-based products and services for solar system exploration missions were provided by the Instruments Software Systems (ISS) under the AMMOS.
Since 2000, the MIPL has supported the following missions/projects:
Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) - 1995-2000
The new Multimission Image Processing Subsystem is a distributed system with Digital Alpha and Sun servers and Sun workstations. The VICAR image processing subsystem has been ported to all of the platforms and maintains its TAE command line interface as well as a new GUI based interface. Film recorders and hardcopy devices are available to all the workstations on the network. The files are centrally stored on a storage server consisting of high speed magnetic disk and archives on CD-ROM and magnetic tape cassettes.
Since 1995 MIPS has supported the following missions/projects:
Multimission Image Processing Laboratory 1984-1995
In 1984, the Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) was formed. New hardware was acquired in the form of Digital Equipment Corporation VAX 11/780s. VICAR programs were ported to run under the Transportable Applications Executive (TAE). The new facility provided for batch or interactive processing. The hardware consisted of multiple VAX computers clustered with a common disk system, line and page oriented video terminals (VT100), image display hardware (by Gould, Adage and Ramtek), film recorders and hardcopy printers, disk (magnetic and optical) and tape (reel and cassette) archives, and network connections to the "outside world."
This phase has supported the following flight projects:
Image Processing Laboratory 1966-1984
The image processing laboratory (IPL) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory began in 1966 to retrieve and process video images from spacecraft. Software called VICAR (Video Image Communication And Retrieval) was developed to process the images on an IBM 360 computer. VICAR was written by Howard Frieden, Bob Nathan, Stan Bressler, John Campbell, Tom King and Ed Efron. This was a batch oriented system with data input from magnetic tape, command input from punched cards and output to magnetic tape. Images were displayed on a video film converter which was built by LINC.
In the mid-1970s, time sharing was introduced into the IPL when IBM TSO was released. In the late-1970s, PDP-11 peripheral processors were added to manage image displays. The VICAR algorithms continued to be developed and improved.
This phase of the IPL supported the following flight projects:
In 1979, IPL merged with MTIS and continued to support real-time and systematic production for Voyager.
Document Review: CL 96-0842 on 22-May-96 by Charlotte Marsh