Getting It Right

Collaborating for Mission Success
June 2019 Issue
Alternate-Grade Electronics and Inherited Components
Nebula Image
Ball Aerospace Star Tracker

Coping with Inherited Components

Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has experienced an increase in the use of inherited components such as flight printed wiring assemblies, star trackers, inertial measurement units, and reaction wheel assemblies. GSFC developed a new holistic approach for inherited and heritage items that factors prior history, successes, anomalies, and changes in the item. Results in many cases found no elevated risk using these items.
Circuit board

Just-Right Advice for Alternate-Grade Electronics

Aerospace is conducting collaborative research with industrial, government, and academic partners to characterize the tolerance of selected alternate-grade electronics to particle radiation encountered in space.
GPS-III Launch SpaceX

Reliability Models Key to Mission Success

Launch reliability predictions are a vital input to forward-looking studies. Medium-class vehicles like the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Falcon 9 have traditionally been the most reliable while heavy- and small-class vehicles have not fared as well. Aerospace generates separate predictions for all three classes of vehicle to provide a baseline for estimating future availability and risk.
Assuring Operations of Autonomous Systems Policy Paper Cover Image

Trusted AI and Autonomous Systems

U.S. aerospace companies are increasingly using intelligent agents, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) in their complex systems of systems, comprising hardware, software, networks, and human-machine interfaces. Small abnormalities can spread unchecked in these intelligent, complex ecosystems, resulting in unforeseen downstream impacts. An autonomous system can change its operating environment, which changes inputs to the system, causing feedback loops that are difficult to track and manage. There are multiple scenarios where time-critical autonomous systems require improved operational assurance. 
Ground station terminal

Lessons Learned: Ground Control to Major Ops

One of the biggest challenges of transitioning from a heritage ground system to a new ground system is not to disrupt current operations. The new system should be able to process telemetry from operational satellites while full operational control is maintained by the heritage system. This enables testing in a test-like-you-fly environment early and throughout the campaign. Because the operators have an early opportunity to use the system before delivery, they can provide valuable feedback during the development cycle for incorporation

Getting It Right focuses on industry collaboration for mission success by sharing lessons learned, best practices, and engineering advances in response to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Getting It Right newsletter is published quarterly by the Aerospace Corporate Chief Engineer's Office.

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