SPACE FLIGHT SYSTEMS RADIOISOTOPE POWER SYSTEMS PROGRAM OFFICE NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPACE EXPLORATION RESEARCH EXTERNAL PARTNERS EDUCATION/OUTREACH SPACE EXPLORATION BENEFITS PROGRAM SUPPORT



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Program Systems Engineering


The MSC Program Systems Engineering (PSE) team at NASA GRC supports the systems engineering activities of the Space Communication and Navigations (SCaN) Program at NASA Headquarters. It works with other teams at Headquarters, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and at the Jet Propulsion Lab to provide the systems engineering function for SCaN.

Project Areas Supported


Systems Architecture & Requirements

GRC PSE supports the development of the formal Program-level documentation for SCaN. GRC currently leads the development and revision of the SCaN Architecture Definition Documents (ADD) and Interface Requirements Documents (IRD), and provides support in the development of the Systems Requirements Document (SRD) and the Concept of Operations (ConOps). These documents describe the SCaN Network as they currently exist, and as they are expected to evolve over the next decade. Figure 1 shows the notional SCaN Network Service Architecture in 2025.

  Notational SCaN Network  

Figure 1. Notional SCaN Network Service Architecture circa 2025.


Engineering Studies & Analysis

GRC PSE participates in SCaN PSE trade studies conducted to help define the evolution of the SCaN Network. The results of these studies are formally documented in the SCaN ADD, SRD, and ConOps, which are then reviewed and approved by the SCaN Program Control Board (SPCB). SCaN PSE is currently studying potential options for a Space-Based Relay (SBR) to provide relay communications service to NASA science and Human Spaceflight missions.



Configuration, Technical Data, and Tools Management

GRC conducts communications analysis and develops new tools (software) for PSE. Figure 2 shows an example of analysis conducted for the SBR Trade Study.

  instantaneous communications  

Figure 2. The predicted instantaneous communications coverage that could be provided by a steerable single Ka-band beam of a SBR to the east coast of the United States.

Program Systems Engineering Information


GRC PSE Acting Project Manager: Charles Niederhaus, charles.niederhaus@nasa.gov