Worlds' largest Infrared Telescope
Nearly 3 meters in diameter and a weight of 20 tons. That's the Telescope
installed inside a Boeing 747. It is used by the American Space
Agency NASA corporately with their German colleagues from the German
Center for Aviation and Aeronautics (Deutsches Zentrum für Luftund
Raumfahrt (DLR)) among others to observe the formation of
young stellar- and planetary systems; the project is also called "Flying
Observatory". The infrared light of those objects, what the scientists
are most after, can on ground only be received in a narrowed way,
because particularly the water vapor in the earth?s atmosphere is impassable
for this kind of radiation. At a height of about 13 kilometers
the factor of the earth?s atmosphere is negligible and the way is clear
for observing the infrared radiation of astronomical objects.
Flying Observatory "SOFIA"
The completion and handling of the flying observatory
"Sofia" (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared-Astronomy) is coordinated
by the German side of the DSI, the German SOFIA Institute located at the
University of Stuttgart. The DSI-Team is made up of engineers,
scientists, logisticians and technicians taking care of the readiness
for operations, the maintenance and the further development of the Telescope.
The Documentation- and Maintenance software for the Telescope made
of over 11,000 parts was developed by the German company ERPwerk in
Oldenburg. The Software gives information on the Airworthiness of the
Telescope and takes care of having all necessary spare parts for actual
and upcoming maintenance tasks ready. Furthermore it manages documents
like manuals, engineering drawings, maintenance procedures, material
certificates, a.s.o for all parts and provides them to the users via an
easy to handle search. The engineers are for example able to navigate
visually through the Telescope via so called Hotspots (markers on the
engineering drawings) and find the parts by a Mouse click. All the Data is
stored and managed on a central Server located in the Internet. The Access
to the Server is encrypted.
Warehouse Management, Procurement and Project Management
Beside the Maintenance and Documentation the Software also implements
other Tasks for the corporate Project of NASA and DLR: Warehouse
Management, Procurement, User rights Management and Project Management.
The Software will implement a web-based Interface to the NASASystem,
so the NASA Engineers are informed about actual Maintenance
Tasks of the Telescope at regular intervals. Over this Interface
project relevant data can be exchanged. One of the biggest challenges
was the comfortable handling of large amounts of data over
the Internet, so the whole Project-Team can globally work with the
software, regardless of the location.
Standard modules, thus pre-assembled blocks of Software, which are
adapted to the needs of the project are used. In doing so costs are
saved, development times are reduced and last but not least the complexity
Navigation through the Telecope Structure (Assembly) via Hotspots is significantly lower.
The characteristical constellation of Orion in two exposures:
as photography at the human visible field of light (left) and as
Audit proof Document Management with Document Release Procedure
Procurement Module with automated Order Recommendations for Maintenance Tasks
Navigation through the Telecope Structure (Assembly) via Hotspots