This guide describes user operation of the Airborne Science Program (ASP) Mission Tools Suite (MTS) software. This guide is intended as a starting point for understanding how to use the basic features and functionality of MTS.

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.

Babe Ruth

Any size project requires efficient and effective coordination among team members to be successful. The above quote quite succinctly speaks to this point, but you may ask, what does "The Sulton of Swat" know about Earth Science?

The utilization of airborne assets to conduct Earth Science research provide unique opportunities to better understand our Planet and the environmental systems that impact our lives. To conduct Earth Science research in the airborne domain, however, requires the collective contribution of many individuals, each operating to support larger scientific objectives. The orchestration of Mission Scientists, Payload Operators, Pilots, Instrument Investigators, Aircraft Support and Operation Engineers, Satellite Communication Engineers, Modelers and Weather Forecasters, Information Technology and Network Specialists, Developers, and Managers is not a trival endevour. Understanding the current mission context and constraints are required for each of these user groups to operate independently yet be in-the-loop to enable fast and efficient decision making. A consequence to the contrary may result in increased monetary costs and, more importantly, lost opportunities for observing rare natural phenomena.

The primary purpose of the Mission Tools Suite (MTS) is to support tactical decision-making by aggregating disparate information sources into a cohesive common operating picture. The Mission Tools Suite is comprised of individual tools that attempt to mesh real time aircraft and instrument status, current satellite and model products, together with tools for team communication and collaboration as well as tools to support tactical mission planning.

Click this link to learn more about the different tools available in the Mission Tools Suite.

Request an MTS account by clicking on the button below. Please note that your affiliation with an Airborne Science Project must be confirmed before an account is created.

Request an Account »

If you are interested in having your Airborne Science Project hosted on MTS, please send an email to the Mission Tools Support email account.

We strongly encourage users to access MTS using one of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome 12+
    • Mac (OS X 10.5 or later)
    • Linux (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/openSUSE)
    • PC (Windows XP, Vista, and 7)
  • Apple Safari 5+
    • Mac
    • PC (Windows XP, Vista, and 7)
  • Mozilla Firefox 4+
    • Mac (OS X 10.5 or later)
    • Linux (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/openSUSE)
    • PC (Windows XP, Vista, and 7)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9+
    • PC

To get started using MTS there are a few key concepts to first understand. Please read the Getting Started documentation for a quick primer on workspaces and configurations. If you already have an understanding of workspaces and are looking for information related to the tools available in MTS please see below.

For an overview of the various tools please visit the following link. Tool Overview »

You can also go directly to the user documentation for one of the following tools:

The Mission Tools Suite is a product of the Airborne Science Program at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. Please visit the Airborne Science Program's home page for more information. The Mission Tools Suite is the effort of a dedicated team that includes the contributions of many talented individuals working together across the Agency to advance the capabilities of Earth Science Research.