Generating High Quality Schedules for a Spacecraft Memory Downlink Problem

  • Angelo Oddi
  • Nicola Policella
  • Amedeo Cesta
  • Gabriella Cortellessa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2833)


This work introduces a combinatorial optimization problem called Mars Express Memory Dumping Problem (Mex-Mdp), which arises in the European Space Agency program Mars Express. It concerns the generation of high quality schedules for the spacecraft memory downlink problem. Mex-Mdp is an NP-hard combinatorial problem characterized by several kinds of constraints, such as on-board memory capacity, limited communication windows over the downlink channel, deadlines and ready times on the observation activities. The contribution of this paper is twofold: on one hand it provides a CSP model of a real problem, and on the other it presents a set of metaheuristic strategies based on local and randomized search which are built around the constraint-based model of the problem. The algorithms are evaluated on a benchmark set distilled from ESA documentation and the results are compared against a lower bound of the objective function.


Tabu Search Turnover Time Mars Express Store Operation Short Remain Processing Time 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelo Oddi
    • 1
  • Nicola Policella
    • 1
  • Amedeo Cesta
    • 1
  • Gabriella Cortellessa
    • 1
  1. 1.Planning & Scheduling Team, Institute for Cognitive Science and TechnologyNational Research Council of ItalyRomeItaly

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