Systems Engineering Seminar

Overview and Tour of Mission Data System (MDS)

Presented by:
Richard Doyle, Bob Rasmussen, and Dan Dvorak of JPL

August 6, 2002, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

The Mission Data System (MDS) is a product line approach to space mission control software, intended to address NASA-wide challenges in cost, risk, process, and technology. Through a 3-pronged approach of control architecture, framework software, and systems engineering process, MDS addresses specific needs of systems engineers, software engineers, mission operators, scientists, and technologists. This talk will examine the What and How of the MDS architecture with an emphasis on how it influences the systems engineering process and how it bridges the gap between systems engineering and software engineering. The talk will also overview the implementation of the framework software and its development status, including its adaptation for controlling the Rocky7 rover. MDS is baselined for the Mars Smart Lander mission.



Richard Doyle is Manager of the Information and Technology Program Office and leader of the Center for Space Mission Information Systems and Software at JPL. He formerly held the roles of Technical Division Manager of the Information Technologies and Software Systems Division and Manager of the Autonomy Technology Program at JPL. He received his BA in mathematics with a minor in astronomy from Boston University, his SM in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD in computer science at MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab.


Daniel Dvorak is a principal engineer in the Exploration Systems Autonomy section at JPL, where his interests have focused on software architecture, state estimation, fault protection, and verification of autonomous systems. Earlier he worked at Bell Laboratories on the monitoring of telephone switching systems and on the design and development of R++, a rule-based extension to C++. Dan holds a BS in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, an MS in computer engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from The University of Texas at Austin.


Robert Rasmussen is a principal engineer in the Information Technologies and Software Systems division at JPL, where he is the Mission Data System architect. He holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University. He has extensive experience in spacecraft attitude control and computer systems, test and flight operations, and automation and autonomy particularly in the area of spacecraft fault tolerance. Most recently, he was cognizant engineer for the Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem on the Cassini mission to Saturn.



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