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The Cassini Program is the last of the large interplanetary spacecraft missions. The Integration Test Laboratory (ITL) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is part of the Cassini Program. This laboratory includes the Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem (AACS) testbed. This environment was used to not only verify and validate the AACS, but was also used to develop advanced concepts and ideas for use in future testbed environments. The concepts developed for the AACS testbed included the use of multiple computers, real-time data collection and real-time display, Internet access, and the incorporation of commercially-available components. These concepts resulted in improved simulation fidelity, repeatable operation and reduced future operational costs. This focuses on a description of the testbed, lessons learned, the innovations used, and future directions that will substantially reduce future testbed costs.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2009