NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) effort is preparing for the future of space travel and exploration. The next generation of rockets and spacecraft (both NASA and commercial) will need launch support from state-of-the-art ground systems. NASA IV&V engineers required a test environment to accurately simulate how ground systems will interact with the software in use on the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). GSDO, SLS and Orion MPCV must all operate in the same software environment for accurate and reliable launch simulations.
Engility and TMC Technologies (TMC) Modeling and Simulation (M&S) experts are working with NASA IV&V engineers to develop an integrated software simulation test environment. The team can now build any GSDO source code needed for the simulation environment with very minor exceptions, and we can execute the software easily and reliably.
This was problematic earlier in the GSDO development project. The M&S team helped assemble and complete a GSDO virtual machine that does away with the need for expensive and time-intensive local modifications that required deep technical knowledge and onerous manual work. The virtual machine replicated TMC successes delivered on NASA Global Precipitation Measurement, James Web Space Telescope, and Space Launch System M&S initiatives. Further, an Engility M&S engineer was able to enable the display of new data sets on the Launch Control System (LCS) displays in the simulation test environment —a bug in the simulation that had plagued the development team for months.
Successful deployment of the GSDO systems and software will make space exploration safer and more affordable. The ability to model the interaction of ground system software infrastructure and interactions with SLS and MPCV is critical to the burgeoning space industry. Engility and TMC IV&V and M&S work on GSDO has already addressed time-consuming issues faced by NASA researchers and paved the way for better simulations for future NASA missions. Engility and TMC are also collaborating to leverage TMC Intellectual Property on Engility programs outside of NASA.