Open Source Mission Support System for research aircraft missions
09-01, 11:05–11:20 (Europe/Zurich), HS 120

The Mission Support System Software (MSS) is a client/server application developed in the community to collaboratively create flight plans based on model data. Through conda-forge, the components of MSS can be used on different platforms.

Examining the atmosphere by research aircraft is a costly and highly collaborative effort involving a large community of scientists, their one-of-a-kind measurement instruments and a very limited amount of available flight-hours.
The MSS Software ( is used for planning research aircraft missions. Such missions involve the measurement of interesting atmospheric situation by research aircraft. These missions typically involve a wide range of one-of-a-kind instruments designed and operated by different scientific institution, with different requirements and operational conditions.
The software project contains several components. Scripts for automated download and process of weather forecast data for the server components. This model forecast data is needed to guide the aircraft to the location of interest. The data is visualized by an extended OGC webmap server capable of visualising the big data generated by complex 3-D atmospheric simulations in a highly configurable manner and delivering the resulting small PNG images over the internet. Another server based on socketIO enables collaborative working from different locations on the same flightpath simultaniously. The flightpath editor is a QT UI that allows to overlay the pictures produced by our server. The flightpath can be changed accordingly vertically and horizontally. We provide also a view based on the simulated data to visualize data similar to an insitu measurement along the flightpath.

Public link to supporting material

Abstract as a tweet

Overview about @TheMSSystem - A client/server application developed in the community to collaboratively create flight plans based on model data.

Project Homepage / Git


Discovery from Data, Data Visualisation, Earth, Ocean and Geo Science, Open Source Library

Expected audience expertise: Domain


Expected audience expertise: Python


I work at the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH as RSE. In 2010 I started the PythonCamp together with Peter Hecker and Christian Scholz. I have been maintaing the OSD Mission Support System for several years. Since 2013 I am a fellow of the Python Software Foundation. More: