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Integrated Lunar Information Architecture for Decision Support (ILIADS)

ILIADS is a "rich client" lunar Geospatial Information System (GIS) software application that was conceived, designed, and developed at the Goddard Space Flight Center. The current version of ILIADS is rooted in a prototype lunar GIS application, also developed by Goddard, that demonstrated the value and benefit of applying GIS information system technologies to support the Agency's goal of planning and conducting future robotic and crewed lunar exploration activities. The current release of ILIADS is a completely re-designed version of the ILIADS prototype. The current version of ILIADS is built around Goddard's highly successful, field-proven IRC (Interoperable Remote Components) software framework. Written in Java, and making extensive use of XML, ILIADS is download to, and executes on, a user's laptop or desk side platform. It executes in the three most widely used operating system environments: Mac OS-X, Windows, and Linux. By accessing the internet, ILIADS provides the user with the ability to locate, query, and download remotely sensed mapped lunar data products from geographically distributed lunar data repositories or "sources". ILIADS will be used by a diverse community of users (e.g., lunar mission planners, scientists, mission design engineers, mission operations engineers) to locate, access, and interactively analyze vetted, mapped, lunar data products that are stored and managed by the Agency's Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP) information system. ILIADS' quantitative analysis tools and functions, and 3D visualizations of the lunar surface environment, enables users to make decisions that will ensure safe and efficient lunar surface exploration activities by robotic, and eventually crewed, missions.


Integrated Lunar Information Architecture for Decision Support (ILIADS) Goals

The ILIADS application enables users to download mapped lunar data products, render them as 3D visualizations, and permits the user to interact with these products: both qualitatively and quantitatively. Since all mapped lunar data products supported by ILIADS are georegistered to a common lunar grid, they may be superposed as semi-transparent layers of complementary information. This capability permits the various layers to be readily visualized and evaluated independently as well as in the context of one another. To facilitate interoperability with many potential lunar data repositories, ILIADS adheres to the widely adopted Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web mapping services standards, notably the Web Mapping Service – WMS, Web Coverage Service – WCS; and the Web Feature Service - WFS. ILIADS also provides the user with the ability to invoke built-in quantitative image processing and data analysis functions to create on-the-fly products (e.g., lunar surface terrain slopes, lunar surface roughness maps, and surface illumination maps). ILIADS is also capable of invoking remotely hosted analysis tools using a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). After the desired service is invoked by ILIADS on the remote server, the remote server responds with the resultant computation so that it can be rendered and/or utilized by ILIADS as another lunar data product or "layer". To perform complex functions that are not part of the built-in function library that is distributed with the ILIADS application, ILIADS also provides the user with a mechanism to invoke user-developed scripts (e.g., Javascript and Python) that can combine, or take advantage of, the mathematical and image processing library functions delivered with the ILIADS application.

Project Goals

The moon is one of the principal solar system destinations that have been targeted for exploration by robotic and (eventually) crewed human missions. To achieve this objective there is a need for a geospatial information system (GIS) to provide lunar scientists, engineers, mission formulation teams, and mission operations teams with a broad range of quantitative analysis and visualization tools to support critical mission-related decision-making processes. To make these decisions, questions must be answered such as: Where is the terrain safe to land and what routes are available to safely traverse the surface? Where and at what times is the lunar terrain sufficiently illuminated to provide the solar energy required to power rovers, habitats, communications facilities and other infrastructure elements? What is the distribution and concentration of in situ lunar resources (e.g., hydrogen, titanium, etc) so that they may be harvested and utilized to sustain a long term human presence on the lunar surface? ILIADS provides the data management capabilities to access vetted lunar data sets from the Agency's Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP) portal and lunar data product server. ILIADS also provides a suite of quantitative analysis functions and 3D visualizations to meet the specific LMMP Level 3 functional and performance requirements to process, display, and interact with a variety of mapped lunar data products derived from LRO and other remote sensing lunar mapping missions.

Functional Goals

Our goal was to provide a set of quantitative analyses and visualization functions that could be readily used by the lunar mission planning user community to conduct and evaluate "What-if?" analyses. In addition, through the use of "Project Files" that can be created and shared by ILIADS users, a mechanism to facilitate collaboration among multiple lunar mission planning users is available. The results of these analyses would serve as key inputs into lunar mission decision support systems.

Evolvability Goals

ILIADS core framework was designed with the flexibility to readily evolve and expand upon its current suite of available features and functions. For example, new scientific or engineering analysis algorithms that may be developed by the user community can be readily integrated into ILIADS, thus taking advantage of the "best of breed" of future algorithms an analysis packages as they become available.

Usability Goals

From its inception, ILIADS was designed to be used by a diverse user community including, but not necessarily limited to scientists, engineers, mission planners, and (eventually) crews that would conduct lunar surface exploration activities. Ease of use is provided by means of an intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI). The GUI enables ILIADS users to easily interact with 3D representations of a wide variety of lunar data sets and to easily invoke a variety of analysis tools and functions.


Software Packages

This software is released under the terms and conditions of the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) Version 1.1 or later.
Integrated Lunar Information Architecture for Decision Support (ILIADS) NOSA

ILIADS (Win) [90 MB]
ILIADS (Mac) [119 MB]



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  • Page Last Updated: October 31, 2018
  • Page Editor: Adil Anis
  • NASA Official: Enidia Santiago-Arce