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Space Telescope Science Institute

What is Spike?

The Space Telescope Science Institute developed the Spike planning and scheduling software in support of the Hubble Space Telescope as a general toolkit for planning and scheduling under Contract NAS5-26555 with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

It is our desire that this toolkit be used to promote scientific research through the effective and efficient use of ground- and space-based astronomical observatories. By providing the Spike system to other facilities, we are developing a community of users who use and enhance the Spike system. The STScI is a clearinghouse for users, bug fixes, modifications, etc.

Spike is a general framework for planning and scheduling. Capabilities include:

  • A powerful yet efficient method (suitability functions) to represent the wide variety of strict and preferential constraints encountered in real scheduling problems
  • Long-, medium- and short-term Ground Based Telescope scheduling
  • Long and short-term Orbiting Spacecraft scheduling
  • Absolute constraints (ie., observation at time X.)
  • Relative constraints (ie., A after B by X days)
  • Resource constraints (ie., Data Volume, Number of Real Time Contacts)
  • Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP) based scheduler
  • Plan Windows based scheduler
  • Powerful, customizable automatic scheduler based on the multistart stochastic repair technique.
  • Fast, efficient constraint propagation and scheduling algorithms
  • Graphical user interface as well as ability to run in automated mode
  • Queue (interleaved) and batch scheduling
  • Library of mathematical, time, astronomical and graphic display utility functions.

Products

  • Astronomer's Proposal Tools
    The goal of the APT project is to improve the proposal preparation process, in order to provide users with a more intuitive, visual, and interactive experience by means of state of the art technology.
  • Percy
    Percy is an interactive computer program which provides ephemeris and geometrical event information about solar system objects.
  • PyFITS
    PyFITS is a Python module for working with FITS files.
  • PyRAF
    PyRAF is an environment that combines the power and flexibility of Python with the ability to use IRAF and STSDAS tasks.
  • SpecView
    SpecView is a spectral visualization and analysis tool.
  • Spike Planning and Scheduling System
    Multi-Mission Planning and Scheduling System used for HST and other astronomical missions.
  • ST Grants Management System
    STScI Grants Management System (ST GMS), developed for administration of Space Telescope grants, is a flexible solution for granting agencies, investigators, and research administrators.
  • StarView
    StarView is an astronomical database browser and research analysis tool.
  • stsci_python
    stsci_python is a collection of applications and tools distributed by STScI for astronomical data analysis.
  • STSDAS
    STSDAS is a software package for analyzing astronomical data.
  • TABLES
    TABLES is an external package in IRAF that provides support for tabular data for STSDAS and other packages.