PROTON – PrestoTools –



PROTON (PROfiling Tool for Operational Needs) is a portable tool for analysis and investigation on spacecraft mission events.

It was developed in 2008 for the Proteus spacecraft platform, and was adapted for the Pléiades constellation, the Myriade micro-satellites platform and the SPOT/HELIOS constellation.

PROTON pre-processes operational data (such as mission plans, orbit events, ground passes plans, ground alarms, and much more) and displays it in synthetic and customizable tables in order to assist operators in their daily analyses. PROTON can also plot the data using PrestoPlot®, or pinpoint events on a 2D map.

Aggregation of several data sources and the combination of plot, map and table displays allow for powerful correlation analysis on the available event logs, enabling operators to quickly track down the root of an anomaly or any peculiar spacecraft behaviour.

PROTON can also interface with external tools such as PrestoDecom for parameter extraction from telemetry, or even CNES' VTS visualisation toolkit for advanced 2D/3D visualisation of the spacecraft in orbit.

Handling a wealth of operational data sources, PROTON poses as the swiss army knife of spacecraft event analysis and is a great tool for spacecraft control centres. Moreover, the generic nature of the time-based display of spacecraft event logs makes it easy to adapt to new missions and needs.

The following standard plugins are available :

  • PROTON_VTS (Only for some platforms)

Version information

Current version

The current version is PROTON 18.02.

Next version

The next version of PROTON is not yet planned.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which operating systems does PROTON run on?

    PROTON targets the following operating systems:

    • Windows XP, Windows Seven
    • RedHat 3.9, RedHat 5, RedHat 6
    • CentOS 3.9, CentOS 5, CentOS 6

    PROTON should also run fine on other Windows and Linux versions.

  • Why does PROTON fail to start on my 64bits Linux machine?

    PROTON is a 32-bits binary and thus requires 32-bits libraries to run. Such libraries are generally available as compatibility libraries for Linux 64-bits systems. In order to install them, please contact your system administrator.

    The list of required compatibility libraries can be found by running ldd ./proton.lnx from the command line.

  • Why can't I run PROTON on a headless Linux machine if I'm only using batch mode?

    Since PROTON uses Tk, it requires the X11 libraries to run, and a working X11 display. This is still the case even in batch mode.

    On a headless machine, you may use Xvfb to provide PROTON with a virtual X11 display. This can be done thusly:

     # Start the virtual X server
     Xvfb :1 &
     # Keep the process ID
     # Run PROTON on the new virtual display
     ./proton.lnx -display :1 --commandfile ProtonCommands.rcf --exit
     # Stop the virtual display
     kill $XPID

    To install Xvfb on your system if it is not already available, please contact your system administrator.

  • Why does PROTON fail to start with a message resembling /tmp/tclXXXXXX: failed to map segment from shared object: Operation not permitted on my Linux machine?

    Upon start, PROTON unpacks and loads some internal libraries into $TMPDIR (/tmp by default). If $TMPDIR is mounted with the noexec option (execution of binaries is forbidden), those libraries will fail to load.

    To circumvent this, $TMPDIR must be set to a directory where execution of binaries is allowed. This can be done thusly:

     # Create a user-specific temporary directory
     mkdir -p ~/.tmp
     # Run PROTON using the new temporary directory
     TMPDIR=~/.tmp ./proton.lnx --commandfile ProtonCommands.rcf --exit
     # Remove the temporary directory
     rm -rf ~/.tmp

The Presto Tools are a product by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales.