Mars Express Data Planning Tool MEXAR2 Maintenance
MEXAR2 is an advanced AI software tool for continuous support of the mission planning operations of MARS-EXPRESS. It generates the activity plan used to download the satellite data from the on board memory to ground. The problem is solved on a weekly basis at ESOC, the Mission Operations Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA). The tool is still in use and supports the daily work of mission planners within the MARS-EXPRESS mission. Currently, our main tasks are to update the operating model, modify the optimization algorithms, remove malfunctions and improve the software’s overall performance. The successful application of MEXAR2 is due to a twofold factor: (i) the use of efficient AI planning & scheduling (P&S), and (ii) a careful design of the human-machine interaction workflow, to augment the capability of the mission planners of exploring the solutions space.