Space Launch Operations

CCT Provides Support to New Space Shuttle Launch Processing System Development

Command and Control Technologies (CCT) is providing software development and systems architecture support to the development of the next generation Space Shuttle launch processing systems. The Checkout and Launch Control System (CLCS) is being developed by NASA to replace an aging launch processing system. The new CLCS will incorporate commercial-off-the-shelf technologies to provide a reliable, high performance system.

The primary goal of CLCS is to provide a system that has lower operational costs, higher performance, and increases operator efficiency. This is being accomplished by applying industry standards, commercial computing equipment, and high technology user interface concepts.

CLCS provides interfaces for downlink telemetry and ground support equipment control. The distributed architecture is based on industry standard protocols over high-speed networks. User interfaces and applications are developed using object oriented techniques providing intuitive visualization and control of complex shuttle systems.

By building the CLCS using industry standards and commercial equipment, NASA hopes to create a national launch processing system that can be reused on future launch vehicles. The X-33 and X- 34 programs, for example, could make use of the CLCS architecture and capabilities.


CCT is involved in several key aspects of the system, from software architecture design to 3- Dimensional visualization prototyping.

Software Architecture – CCT is leading the system software architecture team. Senior personnel, drawing on years of launch processing system design experience, are providing oversight and guidance to the development of the system software architecture. Key challenges include the integration of commercial software packages for data visualization with the real-time data acquisition and dissemination functions.

Telemetry Processing – CCT senior engineers are designing and developing the data acquisition interfaces for space shuttle downlink. This includes the integration of commercial telemetry boards and processor cards in a VME environment. CCT is responsible for the development of software for the acquisition, decommutation, and processing of shuttle downlink data.

3-Dimensional Visualization – CCT Engineers are responsible for interfacing 3-Dimensional representations of the Space Shuttle to real-time data. The 3-D models respond in real time to changes in vehicle attitude and characteristics.

Desktop Development Environment – CCT is a key part of the team developing the desktop development environment. This environment allows the engineering application developer to utilize desktop tools to develop, test, and validate critical control system applications without the need for a large development environment. This increases the productivity of application developers and reduces the overall cost of application development.

Java Development – CCT is involved in the development of Java based software distribution of Space Shuttle performance data. This Java application allows office users to access engineering data over a Kennedy Space Center Intranet.

Industry Applications – CCT is leading the effort to apply CLCS technologies to other aerospace applications. CCT is currently developing a portable payload test system that will be used for testing of shuttle payload interfaces at the payload developer’s factory. CCT is also applying the CLCS technology to the development of a transportable launch processing system that will be used to support expendable and reusable launch vehicles currently on the drawing board.


Commercial Technologies – The CLCS system relies heavily on commercial hardware and software to provide system functionality. CCT is involved in the integration of these commercial packages with custom software. Commercial packages currently in use on the CLCS system include:

• Silicon Graphics UNIX based Computer Systems

• Sherrill-Lubinski SL-GMS and GLG Graphical User Interface Environments

• Gensym G-2 Artificial Intelligence Environment • C++ and Java languages
• Multigen 3-D Modeling Environment
• Motorola 680xx processor cards

• Berg Telemetry Processing Cards
• CORBA Object Brokering Standard
• VxWorks Real-Time Operating System • ControlShell

Command and Control Technologies Corporation specializes in command and control applications for the launch processing and satellite control markets. CCT provides custom solutions by integrating commercial hardware and software with custom software components to provide tailored solutions for our customers. Visit our web site at, e-mail us at, or contact Kevin Brown at (321) 264-1193.