Instrument performance issues are the major risks to successful
data validation and improvement. Instrument performance
subtleties, although usually correctable, are often overlooked
and corrupt final results. Our software development strategy
requires that algorithm development teams participate in
the design of ground testing and the analysis of calibration
data. This "hands on" experience provides data
analysts with first-hand knowledge of instrument performance.
It also promotes communication between instrument and software
development teams. This communication is vital during data
validation and analysis, when experts from different fields
must work together to efficiently diagnose and solve problems.
GATS engineers use the level 0 through level 1 processing
system (commonly used only during post-launch) to support
pre-launch testing and calibration. This thoroughly tests
data processing codes using "real" instrument
data, without the need for a costly data simulation effort,
while taking advantage of instrument engineering expertise
during the building and testing of the data processing system.
The result is software development proficiency and a data
analysis team with a thorough understanding of the instrument,
which equates to prompt and reliable post-launch results.