With the advent of faster, cheaper, and better missions, NASA Projects acknowledged that a higher level of risk was inherent and accepted with this approach. It was incumbent however upon each component of the Project whether spacecraft, payload, launch vehicle, or ground data system to ensure that the mission would nevertheless be an unqualified success. The Small Explorer (SMEX) program's ground data system (GDS) team developed risk mitigation techniques to achieve these goals starting in 1989. These techniques have evolved through the SMEX series of missions and are practiced today under the Triana program. These techniques are: (1) Mission Team Organization--empowerment of a closeknit ground data system team comprising system engineering, software engineering, testing, and flight operations personnel; (2) Common Spacecraft Test and Operational Control System--utilization of the pre-launch spacecraft integration system as the post-launch ground data system on-orbit command and control system; (3) Utilization of operations personnel in pre-launch testing--making the flight operations team an integrated member of the spacecraft testing activities at the beginning of the spacecraft fabrication phase; (4) Consolidated Test Team--combined system, mission readiness and operations testing to optimize test opportunities with the ground system and spacecraft; and (5). Reuse of Spacecraft, Systems and People--reuse of people, software and on-orbit spacecraft throughout the SMEX mission series. The SMEX ground system development approach for faster, cheaper, better missions has been very successful. This paper will discuss these risk management techniques in the areas of ground data system design, implementation, test, and operational readiness.
Documentation and Information Science
2001 Aerospace Conference; Jan 01, 2001; Big Sky, MT; United States