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  • Knowledge Management for ESA’s Rosetta Mission

    Paper number



    Mr. Gerard Schwerm



    Launched in March 2004 the Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lander, will arrive in 2014 at comet Churyomov-Gerasimenkov after a 10 year cruise. All parties involved have been aware of the difficulties to maintain knowledge with the different teams involved in the mission, Mission Operations, Science Operations, Project Support and the Principal Investigator Teams involved and the potential problems that might arise if complicated technical or operational problem would need to be resolved during cruise or when in the science mission at the comet. The Rosetta Science Operations Center (RSOC) supports the Rosetta orbiter experimenters in the preservation of their knowledge.
    We will summarize the approach implementedwithin the RSOC team to ensure the preservation of the existing information – address databases, documentation, etc – with emphasis on the effort to preserve existing experience via a video approach. 
    The video approach included the visit of all orbiter experimenter teams for several days, executing interviews with engineers, technicians and scientists. During the interviews a table of content with attached keywords was generated. The final video was transferred into a computer readable form and connected with the table of content. We will present the methodology that was used to prepare and execute the interviews, to prepare the final video material and the storage and structure of the table of content and keyword. 
    The experimenter interviews at their home institutes and the follow-up work was completed during the initial in-orbit commissioning phase of the payload to capture the first in-flight operational experienced.
    In the meantime we have been four years in flight and have been using the system to train new members in the science operations team and for preparing the actual comet operations phase. Here the knowledge data base is invaluable as we have to go back to feasibility studies prepared during the project development prior to launch. The long cruise phase requires a stepped approach to make best use of resources and to avoid maintaining a large team during times of low operational activities. The experience gained   , the approach is continued during the Rosetta commissioning and interviews are executed after each instrument commissioning slot. We have learned a lot from experience and will discuss ways to improve knowledge management approaches for long term projects.
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    Manuscript document