Unmanned Space Systems

These are notable unmanned Space Systems that I have worked on that have successfully flown.

Mars Exploration Rover (launched 2003)

 
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University, 2003-02-26

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University, 2003-02-26

 

The NASA Mars Exploration Rover program, more commonly known as Spirit and Opportunity, has been a suprisingly long-lived follow-on mission to the successful Mars Pathfinder mission of the mid 1990's. Designed and manufactured around the turn of the century and launched in 2003, the two Rovers far outlasted their 90 sol (a sol is a Martian day, which is slightly longer than an earth day). Opportunity is still operational, and currently holds the off-earth driving record for the Sol-system.

My Role: I served as the Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Assessment (FMECA) Lead, working with JPL through conceptual and preliminary design.

Rather than treating the FMECA process like a traditional scavenger hunt, I developed an interactive, process-driven method for creating and revising the FMECA that was able to keep pace with a fast moving and fast changing project, and was agile and responsive enough to support design decisions as they happened.

C/NOFS (Launched 2008)

 
Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

 

The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) was an experimental satellite designed to increase our understanding of the earth's ionosphere and to understand the effects on communication systems.

My Role: I performed conceptual design and feasibility analysis of the system, including space vehicle concept design visualization and payload placement, packaging analysis, and risk assessment. I provided continued systems-level support through preliminary development.

 
San Diego 2008

San Diego 2008

 

Like any small-build system (what I would refer to as "boutique" or "artisinal"), there were a series of specific challenges that had to be overcome, many of which were atypical for satellite systems. In addition, the large number of scientific instruments made for both a challenging physical integration and configuration, and a challenging program integration.