Open MCT is a next-generation mission control framework for visualization of data on desktop and mobile devices. It is developed at NASA's Ames Research Center, and is being used by NASA for data analysis of spacecraft missions, as well as planning and operation of experimental rover systems. As a generalizable and open source framework, Open MCT could be used as the basis for building applications for planning, operation, and analysis of any systems producing telemetry data.
See Open MCT in Action
Try Open MCT now with our live demo.
A simpler, easier-to-use API has been added to Open MCT. Changes in this API include a move away from a declarative system of JSON configuration files towards an imperative system based on function calls. Developers will be able to extend and build on Open MCT by making direct function calls to a public API. Open MCT is also being refactored to minimize the dependencies that using Open MCT imposes on developers, such as the current requirement to use AngularJS.
This new API has not yet been heavily used and is likely to contain defects. You can help by trying it out, and reporting any issues you encounter using our GitHub issue tracker. Such issues may include bugs, suggestions, missing documentation, or even just requests for help if you're having trouble.
We want Open MCT to be as easy to use, install, run, and develop for as possible, and your feedback will help us get there!
Building and Running Open MCT Locally
Building and running Open MCT in your local dev environment is very easy. Be sure you have Git and Node.js installed, then follow the directions below. Need additional information? Check out the Getting Started page on our website. (These instructions assume you are installing as a non-root user; developers have reported issues running these steps with root privileges.)
Clone the source code
git clone https://github.com/nasa/openmct.git
Install development dependencies
Run a local development server
Open MCT is now running, and can be accessed by pointing a web browser at http://localhost:8080/
Documentation is available on the Open MCT website. The documentation can also be built locally.
The clearest examples for developing Open MCT plugins are in the tutorials provided in our documentation.
Additional examples are available in the
examples hierarchy of this
repository; however, be aware that these examples are
not fully-documented, so
the tutorials will likely serve as a better starting point.
Building the Open MCT Documentation Locally
Open MCT's documentation is generated by an npm-based build. It has additional dependencies that may not be available on every platform and thus is not covered in the standard npm install. Ensure your system has libcairo installed and then run the following commands:
npm install canvas nomnoml
npm run docs
Documentation will be generated in
Deploying Open MCT
To build Open MCT for deployment:
npm run prepublish
The contents of the
dist folder will contain a runnable Open MCT
instance (e.g. by starting an HTTP server in that directory), including:
main.jsfile containing Open MCT source code.
- Various assets in the
index.htmlthat runs Open MCT in its default configuration.
gulp tasks are defined in the gulpfile.
A bundle is a group of software components (including source code, declared as AMD modules, as well as resources such as images and HTML templates) that is intended to be added or removed as a single unit. A plug-in for Open MCT will be expressed as a bundle; platform components are also expressed as bundles.
A bundle is also just a directory which contains a file
which declares its contents.
bundles.json (note the plural), at the top level of the
repository, is a JSON file containing an array of all bundles (expressed as
directory names) to include in a running instance of Open MCT. Adding or
removing paths from this list will add or remove bundles from the running
The test suite is configured to load any scripts ending with
src hierarchy. Full configuration details are found in
karma.conf.js. By convention, unit test scripts should be located
alongside the units that they test; for example,
src/foo/Bar.js would be
src/foo/BarSpec.js. (For legacy reasons, some existing tests may
be located in separate
test folders near the units they test, but the
naming convention is otherwise the same.)
npm test is run, test results will be written as HTML to
target/tests. Code coverage information is written to
The tests described above are all at the unit-level; an additional
test suite using Protractor
is under development, in the
- Install protractor following the instructions above.
npm run all
Certain terms are used throughout Open MCT with consistent meanings or conventions. Any deviations from the below are issues and should be addressed (either by updating this glossary or changing code to reflect correct usage.) Other developer documentation, particularly in-line documentation, may presume an understanding of these terms.
- bundle: A bundle is a removable, reusable grouping of software elements.
The application is composed of bundles. Plug-ins are bundles. For more
information, refer to framework documentation (under
- capability: An object which exposes dynamic behavior or non-persistent state associated with a domain object.
- composition: In the context of a domain object, this refers to the set of other domain objects that compose or are contained by that object. A domain object's composition is the set of domain objects that should appear immediately beneath it in a tree hierarchy. A domain object's composition is described in its model as an array of id's; its composition capability provides a means to retrieve the actual domain object instances associated with these identifiers asynchronously.
- description: When used as an object property, this refers to the human-readable description of a thing; usually a single sentence or short paragraph. (Most often used in the context of extensions, domain object models, or other similar application-specific objects.)
- domain object: A meaningful object to the user; a distinct thing in the work support by Open MCT. Anything that appears in the left-hand tree is a domain object.
- extension: An extension is a unit of functionality exposed to the
platform in a declarative fashion by a bundle. For more
information, refer to framework documentation (under
- id: A string which uniquely identifies a domain object.
- key: When used as an object property, this refers to the machine-readable identifier for a specific thing in a set of things. (Most often used in the context of extensions or other similar application-specific object sets.)
- name: When used as an object property, this refers to the human-readable name for a thing. (Most often used in the context of extensions, domain object models, or other similar application-specific objects.)
- navigation: Refers to the current state of the application with respect to the user's expressed interest in a specific domain object; e.g. when a user clicks on a domain object in the tree, they are navigating to it, and it is thereafter considered the navigated object (until the user makes another such choice.)
- space: A name used to identify a persistence store. Interactions with
persistence will generally involve a
spaceparameter in some form, to distinguish multiple persistence stores from one another (for cases where there are multiple valid persistence locations available.)