Media Contact:
Barbara Reichert
Reichert Communications, LLC

For Immediate Release

Trappist-1 Exoplanets and Allegro CL - The SIRPASS Story

OAKLAND, Calif. — February 23, 2017 — Astronomers are celebrating a new discovery, a treasure trove of planets found. The big news is that around a very nearby, cold, small star, there are seven rocky Earth-sized planets, all of which could potentially have liquid water. Three of them orbit in the habitable zone around the star. The planetary system is called Trappist-1. JPL's David S. Mittman and STSI's Robert Hawkins have co-authored a white paper that describes the project environment in which the Spitzer Integratesd Resource Planning and Scheduling System (SIRPASS) was developed and used in operations. SIRPASS is the last known adaptation of the Plan-IT II planning and sequencing tool. In the paper, they explain that because the Plan-IT II software architecture utilizes a highly object-oriented design, the core software can be easily extended for specific scheduling problem domains. Plan-IT II is developed in Allegro CL, a dynamic object-oriented development environment for ANSI Common Lisp from Franz, Inc.

SIRPASS is used by members of the Observatory Planning and Scheduling Team to plan, schedule and sequence the Telescope from data made available to them from the science and engineering community. Because of the volume of data that needs to be scheduled, SIRPASS offers a variety of automated assistants to aid in this task. The white paper describes the functional elements of the SIRPASS software system - emphasizing the role that automation plays in the system - and highlights lessons from the Spitzer Space Telescope operations experience.

To view the entire white paper, please visit

About Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in La Cañada Flintridge, California and Pasadena, California, United States. The JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for NASA. The laboratory's primary function is the construction and operation of planetary robotic spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA's Deep Space Network. Among the laboratory's current major active projects are the Mars Science Laboratory mission (which includes the Curiosity rover), the Cassini–Huygens mission orbiting Saturn, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta, the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

About Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

STScI is a multi-mission operations center for NASA’s flagship observatories and a world-class astronomical research center. Established in 1981, the Institute has developed and executed the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) since its launch in 1990. Today, STScI is developing new technologies for the science and flight operations center for NASA’s next Great Observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018. STScI is also developing major science operations for NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), set to launch in the mid 2020s, and studying Advanced Space Telescope Concepts for future large missions in the 2030s and beyond.

About Franz Inc.

Franz Inc. is an early innovator in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and leading supplier of Semantic Graph Database technology with expert knowledge in developing and deploying complex Big Data analytics solutions. AllegroGraph, Franz's flagship, high-performance, transactional, and scalable Semantic Graph Database, provides the solid storage layer for Enterprise grade NoSQL solutions. AllegroGraph's Activity Recognition capabilities provides a powerful means to aggregate and analyze data about individual and organizational behaviors, preferences, relationships, plus spatial and temporal linkages between individuals and groups. For additional Franz Inc. customer success stories, please visit:

  • AllegroGraph -
  • Allegro CL -

Franz's Professional Service team is in the business of helping companies turn Data into Information and Information into Knowledge. We combine Data, Business Intelligence, and Analytics consulting services under one roof for our customers. Franz, an American owned company based in Oakland, California, is committed to market-driven product development, the highest levels of product quality and responsive customer support and service. Franz customers include dozens of Fortune 500 companies and span the healthcare, government, life sciences and telecommunications industries worldwide. Franz has demonstrated consistent growth and profitability since inception.

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