2. System Description

2.5 Ground-Support Equipment

2.5.1 Electronic Ground Support Equipment/ Procedures Logging on to the EGSE Configuring the "old" EGSE (OGSE) Booting up and shutting down the OGSE How to capture a downlink field Configuring the "new" EGSE (NGSE) Booting up and shutting down the NGSE Recognizing the HRM data stream HITS terminals Communications

2.5.1 Electronic Ground Support Equipment/ Procedures

The Electronic Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) consists of two independent subsystems: a VAXserver 3500 and two VAXstation-2000 workstations (the "new" GSE), and a PDP-11/23 system (the "old" GSE). A schematic of the instrumentation is shown in Figure 2.5-1, the physical layout is displayed in Figure 2.5-2.

Data from the High-Rate Multiplexer (HRM) are delivered to the VAXserver for collection and storage. Both real-time and playback data are stored on disk first and dumped to tape at a convenient time. Printing and communication services are also provided by the server. Displays of real-time and archival data are provided by the workstations, which are also used for data reduction. Optionally, some data can be sent to a similar computer system at the Space Astronomy Laboratory for examination and analysis by other scientists. Real-time HRM data are also fed to the PDP-11-based computer to provide a redundant display capability.

Both Bob ( Vax 3500) and Joanna (workstation) have a SPAN connection, they can be reached as UWSAL4:: and UWSAL6::, respectively. There is also a connection via modem.

During flight, the EGSE will be located in the Payload Operations Controle Center (POCC) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. It will be used to process engineering and scientific data. The EGSE software is designed to do on-the-spot analysis of raw HRM telemetry data received from the experiment. Telemetry can be analyzed through a number of quick-look and visually oriented plotting commands written into the EGSE software. Scientific data are processed by a program similar to the "Reduce" software used for reduction of ground-based data obtained at the Pine Bluff Observatory's 36" telescope. Although the normal operation of WUPPE in flight is from the aft flight deck, it is possible for some commands to originate at the EGSE console and be loaded into the remote POCC keyboard for uplink transmission. These commands, e.g. the "software patches", would be used to provide manual corrections to the instrument operation.

Figure 2.5-1 : Schematic of the WUPPE computer network at KSC or POCC.


Figure 2.5-2 : The EGSE can be set up in different ways. This is one example of the layout. Logging on to the EGSE

Bob can handle 8 users. To log on to Bob, Joanna, Muffin, the Zenith or any other connected teminal, simply use the same login name and password as on Larry. Bob and his friends run under Ultrix. They talk to each other via Ethernet, and to the outside world via DECNET. Configuring the "old" EGSE (OGSE)

Log on to the Zenith 29. This will provide the user to get connected to whatever, Vax or workstation, the last user set it up to connect to (see the prompt, which gives the name of the station). To configure the terminal for using the EGSE, say:

tip gse (hit <CR> twice to get a prompt)

To return to terminal mode, i.e. to quit using the terminal to connect to the old EGSE, say:

~. (tilde period).

When configured as OGSE control terminal, just enter the name of a WUPPE-display page (see section 3) and this page will get displayed on one of the small monitors (3 or 4, depending on patching) (see Fig. 2.5-3). The other monitor should show the CCTV image. Usually one of the large monitors (1 or 2) will show the CCTV image as well.

It is also possible for commands to WUPPE to originate from here, i.e. software loads.

The displays on monitors 3 and 4 can be recorded with the VCR (see Fig. 2.5-2). The video patch panel, shown in Figure 2.5-3, connects either monitor to the VCR. Usually it is chosen to record the WUPPE pages. Only the one page displayed at a time on the monitor will be recorded, information on pages that are not looked at is not archived in this way. A video hardcopy unit provides for hardcopy documentation of an image or text page. Booting up and shutting down the OGSE

This method of booting up the old EGSE is called the COLD BOOT.

1. Flip the restart switch up on the PDP 11/23.

2. Immediately afterwards, type in a "1" on the OGSE terminal. Soon afterwards, the response: ?** should appear on the screen.

3. Now boot the GSE Forth by typing in go wuppe <CR> and wait for response ok.

4. Type in gather <CR> to collect incoming GML HRM data.

5. Type in grfon <CR> to enable ZOD HRM data transmission to the graphics module.

To shut down the old EGSE, flip the power switches. Note: the disk must be switched off before the PDP 11/23 may be switched off. Check individual on/ off indicators, i.e. on the VCR, terminal, monitors, etc. How to capture a downlink field

While HRM data coming in to the new EGSE are written into files and to disk, the only documentation of data captured by the old EGSE is by video recording. Monitors 3 and 4 show the WUPPE pages and the CCTV field as seen by the old EGSE. The information on the WUPPE pages comes out of the connector named VIDEO BOARD, the images come out of the connector GSE ZOD on the video patchpannel (Figure 2.5-3). Usually, the WUPPE pages are recorded on the VCR. The cables on the video patchpannel are then connected in the following way:


VCR out to MON n (for WUPPE pages)

GSE ZOD to MON n (for CCTV field).

Figure 2.5-3 : Close-up view of the video patchpanel.

It may sometimes be requested that the Shuttle crew sends a downlink field to WUPPE. To capture it on video, patch the GSE ZOD connector through the VCR, i.e. from


VCR out to MON n

and, to still see the WUPPE pages, patch directly from


When in doubt about the patching, ask Don Michalski (there is also some patching that has to be done initially on the back of the patchpannel).

On the terminal of the OGSE, enter


to talk to the graphics module. The status of the graphics module, grfon or grfoff, can be recognized from a line at the bottom of the WUPPE display pages (OGSE only). The downlink field takes a while to come in, and it would go away when the next image comes in if the fact that a downlink field was coming in didn't automatically switch grfon off. So, if it is desired to capture a new downlink field or simply continue monitoring the CCTV images, grfon must again be entered on the terminal.

The camera data are also always captured by the "new" EGSE. Configuring the "new" EGSE (NGSE)

The workstations feature the display of multiple text or graphics windows. They can be manipulated in various ways by using the mouse. Tom Jones can help you get started. Refer also to the digital user's guide for DECwindows. To get the attention of one of the workstations, just move the mouse. A "DIGITAL" window in the middle of the screen will ask for your name and password: log on. As a consequence, a new window will appear that has a prompt. To get the attention of that particular window, drag the mouse arrow into the top bar of the window, and then click on the left mouse button. Note that all following mouse maneuvers will be made using the left button. The top bar of the window becomes highlighted, indicating that this window is now the active one. When asked

terminal = (vt200)

hit <CR>.

The prompt containing the station name will appear. To look at archival data, enter the "gse" command described below from the workstation. When preparing to collect new, real-time data with the NGSE, it is recommended to set up a second terminal window on Bob for giving commands to the NGSE. New terminal windows can be created from the "session manager" window. Choose to create a terminal window, then, to get the attention of this new window, click on its top bar. The prompt of the workstation will appear. Log on from the workstation to Bob by entering

rlogin bob

and a new prompt will appear after you have been asked for "terminal" again and hit <CR>.

In general, there are two types of activities that are related to operating the NGSE. For one, HRM data are being collected and stored on disk. This process can go on without user interaction, i.e. in the background, once collection has been started from Bob. The other activity pertains to looking at the data, archival or new. This involves displaying data and interacting with the display windows on the workstations, Joanna or Muffin.

The following commands are available for communication to the NGSE, and should be issued from a terminal window on Bob while working on a workstation. They can also be given from the Bob console terminal, after logging on to the console. This is a contingency to be kept in mind in case of trouble with the workstations.

NGSE commands

 hrmd_ctrl              is the equivalent to "help" and lists all NGSE commands
 hrmd_ctrl -startRT     starts the HRM deamon (i.e. after system shutdowns or crashes)
 hrmd_ctrl -newRT       starts a new file with current date and time while HRM deamon is up
 hrmd_ctrl -stopRT      stops data collection and HRM deamon, use i.e. before a shutdown. 

The above commands are related to data collection, the one below allows for data to be displayed.

    gse                 view data captured by the NGSE.

The commands "hrmd_ctrl -startRT" and "hrmd_ctrl -stopRT" cause to start and stop the HRM deamon. They will nominally be given once, at the beginning and end of the mission, or test-data take. When the HRMD is up, the command "hrmd_ctrl -newRT" should be used to create files with the current date and time (i.e." split off a file" for the data reducers). Note that if no data are received for >5 sec, a file will be broken off automatically (e.g. for LOS times).

The command "gse" can be typed in on a terminal window or given by mouse click in the menu. It will cause a number of new windows to appear on the workstation monitor (after a short while). In the top left corner of the screen look for the GSE window. A sequence of WUPPE windows will also come up. The seven windows show the 5 WUPPE-display pages (text), and spectrometer data and camera data (graphics), if available and selected (look at the file filter in the files window mentioned below).

The windows can be arranged and reseized by the user. To move a window, put the mouse arrow into the window, hold down the left button of the mouse and then drag the window to its new location. Releasing the button concludes the action. Click on the zoom icon in the top bar of the window and drag the window borders (first in the outside direction) to change the size. There is also a button that sends a window to the back, i.e. the bottom of the window pile. To bring a window to the "top", just click on it. In this way, the seven windows associated with WUPPE can be customized to the user's liking. At this point, the pages do not contain any data.

To display data, click on the "Files" button in the GSE window. A window containing a list of files will appear. Select a file by clicking on it, then click the "OK" button in the window. This allows reviewing of archived files. (There is also a "Cancel" button to change that request). Once an archived file has been selected, it can be stepped through with the help of the mouse pointer using the indicator or arrows on the scale in the GSE window. Note that some updates of the windows become valid only after stepping through the associated time frame on the scale, i.e. dragging the pointer quickly over the whole scale is a coarse mode and will not always result in the desired updates. When the approximate occurance time of an event is found, click on the arrow at the end of the scale to slowly step through the file and obtain the correct updated of the windows. Another button in the GSE window, called "gml dump". Click on it to get a hexadecimal display of current gml data (for debugging purposes). These are the real, raw gml data. To stop displaying data, click on the "quit" button in the GSE window and the WUPPE pages will disappear.

In real-time operations, data are read from the end of the current file (see Figure 2.5-4). To start displaying incoming, real-time data, select the current file in the files window. Then click on the "real-time" button. The program "archdsp" now reads the data off the end of the file and fills them into the WUPPE windows. The data can be seen now. The GMT assumes the current value and starts incrementing.

The "HRM deamon", once started, continously runs as a background task. However, it is not active without HRM data flow. When the HRMD is active and there is HRM data flow, the data are being written into files and stored on disk. The HRMD organizes the records contained in the incoming HRM-data stream into 3 distinct files. Figure 2.5-4 shows how the data are being organized. The created 3 files are:

date_time_source.gml     for the GML data (i.e. the WUPPE pages),
date_time_source.spc     for spectrometer data, the relevant GML data are also added to this 
                         file, and
date_time_source.cam     for camera data. The beginning of each camera record contains GML data.
                         These are written into the gml file. 

The date has the format year, month, day. Source is either RT for real time or PB for playback.

For example, to replay archival real-time data taken on 03/17, 1989, at 9:30 am, click on the file 031789_90930_RT.gml in the GSE window. The use the scale in the GSE window to select locations within the file, i.e. pertaining to special events within the data take. To quit, click on the "quit" button in the GSE window.

During real-time data collection, the HRMD should always be running in the background. To check whether the NGSE is collecting data, refer to the "dma" light on the HRM interface, it should be flashing (Fig. 2.5-5). (If for some reason the HRMD is not running, the command "hrmd_ctrl -startRT" would have to be issued). In nominal operations, the command "hrmd_ctrl -newRT" will cause the previous file to be closed and a new one to be started up with the current date. Since the HRMD is inactive without real HRM data flow, issuing a "hrmd_ctrl -newRT" without incoming HRM data will cause no immediate action. However, when HRM data flow is starting, the HRMD sees the command, closes the old file and starts up a new file. Now, clicking on the new file in the files window and on real-time in the GSE window will result in real-time data being filled into the WUPPE windows. To quit displaying data, click on the "quit" button in the GSE window. This does of course not effect the HRMD task, which will continue in the background until stopped by the "hrmd_ctrl -stopRT" command at the end of the mission.

Figure 2.5-4 : The HRM data stream is distributed into 3 files by the HRM daemon. The program archdsp reads the end of these files in on-line mode, or any location in archival mode.

Another file that is available in the directory /usr/data/wuppe is called


This file is usually only started once per mission (or ground-test data take). It contains a log of occasional data, i.e. data from the telemetry stream that are not displayed, but might be valuable to look at. For instance, after a spectrometer initialization, the hrmd_RT.log file will contain the eight "magic numbers" that insure proper initialization. (PBO observers are familiar with the magic numbers appearing after the setoff, this is the WUPPE equivalent.) To look at the end of the hrmd_RT.log file, where new data are being added, give the command

tail -f hrmd_RT.log

Every time software parameters change, a new line will appear in the file. The first character at the beginning of a line identify the source of the data, i.e. IPS, or SP and other characters that are easily recognizable from the special procedures nomenclature (see section 3). To stop looking at the occ.log file, hit

<Control> c

To make screendumps of certain moments in the data take go to "session manager" window and click on "print screen". A menu will be displayed - select desired option by dragging the mouse and releasing the button on the selection.

To log off from the workstation, click on the "session manager" window. Click on the "session" button, this displays a menu below the button. Drag the mouse to "quit" and release the mouse button.

In case of problems with the workstations, refer to the vaxstation hardware book (one of the orange colored binders located next to one of the workstations) or talk to Tom Jones.

The advantage of the NGSE is that all WUPPE pages can be viewed at the same time. The archival capability of the new EGSE is also apparent. All the WUPPE pages and data are being recorded, even if the experimenter did not display them during the data take. Software loads may also originate from the NGSE. Operation of the NGSE in real-time mode requires good communication between all parties involved in using and reducing the data that are being collected. Booting up and shutting down the NGSE

There are two procedures in this section, one for booting up and shutting down Bob, the other for booting up or shutting down one of the workstations.

Procedure to boot up Bob:

Locate the Bob console terminal (currently in the back right corner at POCC). Do this by locating the wire on the front of Bob on the left hand side that looks like a phone cord. Trace that wire to the terminal it is plugged into. This is the console terminal. Turn it on.

Turn on the power to Bob. The power switch is located on the front right hand side of Bob.

Turn off the write protect on Bob. Note that Bob has two hard disks. Push the buttons marked write protect on the panel found on the upper left front corner of Bob. The indicator lights should go off.

You should now see messages appear on the Bob console, which show that the boot up is in progress. When sucessful, a login prompt will appear and Bob is ready to accept input.

Shutting down Bob:

Locate the Bob console terminal. Do this by locating the wire on the front of Bob on the left hand side that looks like a phone cord. Trace that wire to the terminal it is plugged into. This is the console terminal.

Log in as operator on the console terminal.

login: operator

password: greensubmarine

At the opr> prompt type an s for shutdown.

Bob will tell you who is logged on. He will then ask you how many minutes you want before shutdown. 5 or 10 minutes is the norm.

Bob will now warn everyone that the system will be going down. He will broadcast a final shutdown message and will kill all running processes and synchronize the file system.

When you get the opr> prompt again, type h for halt. The disk is synchronized again and the processor halted. You should now see a prompt that looks like this >>>.

Now is the time to write protect Bob's hard disks. Note that Bob has two hard disks. To write protect them push in the buttons marked "write protect" on the panel found on the upper left front corner of Bob. The lights should go from off to on.

Turn off the power switch located on the front right hand side of Bob.

Turn off the power to the console terminal.

Booting up workstation:

The console of the workstation is its large monitor and keyboard.

Turn on the the monitor and the external drive, the switches are in the back.

Push the write-protect button (Michael only) and the light will go off.

Messages start appearing on the monitor screen, and it takes quite a while (approx. 10 min.) for the "DIGITAL" window to come up.

Shutting down workstation:

The console of the workstation is its large monitor and keyboard.

Log in as root on the console terminal.

login: root

password: (ask Marilyn, Cat, John or Tom)

At the opr> prompt type an s for shuttdown.

Type shutdown -h +5 shutdown.

The workstation will now warn everyone that the system will be going down. It will broadcast a final shutdown message and will kill all running processes and synchronize the file system.

When you get the opr> prompt again, type h for halt. The disk is synchronized again and the processor halted. You should now see a prompt that looks like this >>> (Michael).

Write protect Michael's disk. There are no write protect switches on the other workstations.

Turn the respective monitor off, the switch is in the back.

Turn off the power switch.

For boot-up problems, write down the last three lines that you see on the terminal. In case of problems, contact Tom Jones or Cathy Accettura. Recognizing the HRM data stream

In order to collect, record, and display HRM data, you need to know whether the EGSEs are receiving the HRM telemetry data stream that the shuttle is sending down. You can recognize the receipt of HRM data on the OGSE by looking at the camac crate (see Figure 2.5-2). The lights in the crate for HRM data should be flashing. Look also at the WUPPE page displayed on one of the monitors. The GMT should contain a valid time and be incrementing. To check up on the NGSE, look at the HRM interface (Figure 2.5.-5). The 4 LEDs on the HRM interface should be flashing. The LEDs have the following meaning:

Clock: Input clock signal sent by NASA is being received.

Data: HRM data are coming in to the NGSE.

This is the "NASA" side of the HRM interface. The NGSE can see the data. The remaining two LEDs give information on whether the NGSE is interpreting and collecting the incoming data.

Sync: The HRM interface recoginizes WUPPE synchronization code, a 24 bit pattern which is the call sign for WUPPE. The telemetry stream contains all kinds of data, for WUPPE and all other instruments. When the sync light is flashing, WUPPE is picking out the data meant for WUPPE.

Dma: (Direct Memory Access) This light flashes when the NGSE is actively collecting the incoming data. The software sets up operation for data reading correctly and writes them to disk.

A thing to check if HRM data are not being received and the lights are not flashing although data are being sent is the switch configuration on the back of the HRM interface (there are only four possible combinations).


Figure 2.5-5 : Close-up view of the HRM interface. HITS terminals

At KSC, commands to WUPPE originate at the PCU (Payload Checkout Unit) Control Room from. The commands are delivered to WUPPE on the test stand via RAU (Remote Acquisition Unit). The data from WUPPE go to the High-Rate Data Multiplexer (HRDM), from where they are routed to the EGSE or the HITS. The HITS (High-Rate Multiplexer Input/ Output Test System) terminals are used mainly by the KSC test team to monitor the test data. The HITS terminal displays are called up mainly by function keys (Fn).

shift F15 initializes the HITS terminal

Use the function keys (Fn) to get a list of availabe menues and select the Astro diplay pages. To display WUPPE pages on the HITS, use the function keys (Fn) as indicated on the Astro Menu.

TAB D 1500 <send line> also brings up the Astro Menu

TAB D 1032 <send line> shows scratchpad line, e.g. item entries, error messages.

There is a printer associated with each HITS terminal. After switching it on, hit the print key on the HITS keyboard to obtain screendumps. Communications

Since the EGSE is connected to SPAN (DECNET), it is possible to connect to and transmit files back and forth between SAL and the EGSE in an easy way. To connect to another machine, use the dlogin command, i.e.

dlogin madraf or

dlogin uwsal (which connects you to Daryl)

dlogin uwsal1 (which connects you to Larry).

Here is how to export files from Larry or Daryl onto Bob (or Joanna) through the DECNET (while on Bob)

dcp uwsal#:: ~/yourname/filename filenamebob

# stands for 4 or 6. Note that the filenames are separated by a space. You can use a . instead of the second filename, the . means keep the same name for the file.

To copy files from Daryl to Bob (while on Daryl), you could

dcp filenamedaryl uwsal4::/usr/users/wuppe/yourname/filenamebob

If you want to copy all the files in a directory and all its subdirectories do the same except do a

dcp -r

Now, for the reverse, i.e. sending files from Bob back to SAL, send them via DECNET to Daryl,

dcp filenamebob uwsal::/usr/users/wuppe/yourname/filenamedaryl

On Daryl, you can send files from Daryl to Madraf and back using the file transfer protocol, ftp. Note that you can only use your home directory on Madraf, so if you want to copy a file that resides in a subdirectory, move it to the home directory first. Then, while on Daryl, simply type in

  ftp    and you will get a prompt    ftp>

The following commands will help you to set up a dialog:

  ftp> help      gives you help
  ftp> get       opens dialog for copying from Madraf to Daryl
  ftp> send      opens dialog for copying from Daryl to Madraf

You can then continue with the above commands to go from Daryl to Bob and back.

Once a file resides on Bob, it can be printed out on the EGSE Laser Printer using the "print" command, which has the following synopsis

print [-Pprinter] [-f formname] [-L] [-xh] [-h header] [file(s)]

The options are:

    -Pprinter        specifies printer  (defaults to laserprinter on Bob)
    -f formname      uses forms from the library (fonts: pica, elite, compressed; 
                            letterheads; schedules)
    -L               Landscape mode 
    -xh              suppress header
    -h header        adds specified header string to the page headers

Further information on the EGSE can be found in the GSE Users Manual. The interfaces between the EGSE and the experiment, POCC, and the Spacelab are descibed in detail in the IIA.