Systems Engineering Seminar

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC)

Presented by:
Michael Hagopian, NESC Chief Engineer at GSFC,
Frank H. Bauer, NESC Discipline Expert for Guidance, Navigation and Control, and
Robert A. Kichak, NESC Discipline Expert for Power and Avionics

May 4, 2004, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC)

NASA Administrator Shaun O'Keefe formed the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) on July 15, 2003 to serve as an independent engineering and safety assessment organization for the agency. Borne out of recommendations from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, this "One-NASA" organization is charged with performing independent technical assessments for some of NASA's most challenging and demanding technical issues. The NESC leadership is composed of members from all 10 NASA centers. These leaders rely on a cadre of technical experts from NASA, Industry, Universities and other Government agencies.

The panel of speakers will provide an overview of the NESC, discuss the NESC culture, and describe the methods used to develop and nurture the teams of experts called "Super Problem Resolution Teams" as well as the process used to conduct the Independent Technical Assessments for NASA's programs and projects.



Michael Hagopian received his Bachelor's Degree in Physics and his Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1984 and 1987, respectively. He joined NASA GSFC shortly thereafter as a discipline engineer in the Electromechanical Systems Branch, where he worked the in-house instrument development of the COBE FIRAS Mirror Transport Mechanism and control electronics. He also supported numerous other Earth and space science programs including AMSU, IRAC, HST, TRMM, CIRS, GLAS, HIRDLS and technology programs like Lasercomm FSDD and DCATT both as a discipline engineer and later as the head for the controls section in that Branch. Through these activities, Mr. Hagopian became a recognized technical expert in dynamic interaction, jitter, and microphonics characterization. As such he supported on-orbit testing for HST to determine its disturbance environment during the COSTAR build, suspended spacecraft jitter tests for TRMM, various pointing tests/analyses for CIRS, and full up instrument/spacecraft dynamic interaction tests for GOES.

Mr. Hagopian served as the lead servo engineer for the GOES I-M series of missions, concentrating on instrument and spacecraft control mechanisms, and end-to-end instrument system performance. Three spacecraft were successfully launched and operated during his tenure. Mr. Hagopian then became the Assistant Chief for Technology for the Mechanical Systems Division, coordinating mechanical systems technology advances in support of Earth and space science missions and instruments. Focus areas included mechanical, thermal, optomechanical, electromechanical, materials, test, and analysis technologies for advanced instruments and large aperture systems. During this timeframe, he served on details as the Associate Chief of the Instrument Systems Division and as Chief Engineer of the Earth Sciences Directorate, before returning to the Mechanical Systems Division as the Associate Chief where he was responsible for the planning, implementing, directing and coordinating of a comprehensive program for all activities in the Division, which was comprised of over 300 engineers and technicians. Mr. Hagopian currently serves as the NESC Chief Engineer at GSFC, where he provides direct insight into high risk activities at Goddard by staying current on all issues through review and regular communications with the S&MA, Engineering and Project communities.

Frank H. Bauer is the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Discipline Expert for Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C). In this capacity he is responsible for forming and leading the GN&C Super Problem Resolution Team (SPRT)---a cadre of GN&C experts from NASA, Industry, Universities, and other Government agencies. Frank is also the Chief Engineer of the Mission Engineering and Systems Analysis Division at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Frank has been employed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center since graduation; starting as a design analyst in Guidance, Navigation and Control, serving as a mission systems engineer in the Spacecraft Systems Engineering Office, and providing leadership and vision to a team of Guidance, Navigation & Control engineers as the head of the Guidance, Navigation and Control Branch and then the Chief of the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) Division. His role as the GN&C division chief encompassed the design, development, and qualification of advanced GN&C systems for a wide spectrum of space systems, experiments, sub-orbital and launch vehicles at the Greenbelt and Wallops Flight Facility campuses.

Mr. Bauer's primary research interests include spaceborne applications of the Global Positioning System (GPS), space vehicle formation flying and space vehicle precision pointing. In his free time, Mr. Bauer serves as the program manager of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) payload--an educational outreach program that allows students to communicate and interact directly with astronauts on-board the International Space Station via Amateur Radio.

Mr. Bauer received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University.

Mr. Robert Kichak began his GSFC career in 1965 as a co-op student from Cleveland State University. After graduation in 1969, he developed various flight DC to DC power converters for IMP-I/H/J, RAE-B, OSO-I, IUE, and HEAO-B. From 1977 to 1982 he served on the Multimission Modular Spacecraft (MMS) Project. There, his duties evolved from power subsystem engineer, to Manager and Technical Officer for the Modular Power Subsystem for SMM and Landsats 4 & 5, to MMS Flight Support System Integration and Test Manager. In 1982, he was appointed Head of the Payload Interfaces and Instrument Power Section, where he led development of power electronics for COBE instruments and for the GRO EGRET instrument. He served as Head of the Space Power Applications Branch from 1985 to 1992, where he supported HST, GRO, UARS, and GGS. From 1992 to 2001 he served as Associate Chief of the Electrical Engineering Division, and since 2001 as the Division's Chief Engineer where he chaired or served on several anomaly resolution and technical review teams. Mr. Kichak has one patent and two technical papers, was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1995 for his contributions in the development of spaceborne power systems. In 2003 he served as an instructor for the space power segment of a satellite design graduate class at the University of Maryland, and was awarded the GSFC Award of Merit.

In his current role, Mr. Kichak serves the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) as the Discipline Expert for Power and Avionics.



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