Systems Engineering Seminar

Systems Engineering when the Schedule is Tight:
Lessons from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Presented by:
Dave Everett /599
Mission Systems Engineer for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

November 4, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium


Systems Engineering when the Schedule is Tight: Lessons from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Many projects are cost-constrained or driven by the performance necessary to meet a particular objective. The development of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), on the other hand, was dominated by the desire to launch this 7-payload spacecraft within 2-1/2 years of confirmation. Originally conceived as one of many small, annual robotic missions to explore the moon in advance of the next human campaign, LRO became the only NASA mission to the moon for the next few years. The team had to balance the strong push to meet a 2008 launch against the need to ensure that this first mission for Exploration succeeded. In the end, the reputation of Goddard Space Flight Center, the Explorations Systems Mission Directorate, and ultimately NASA hangs in part on LRO's fate. This presentation will provide an overview of the mission and explore some of the challenges the systems engineering team faced in the 4 years from concept to thermal vacuum test.



Photo of Dave Everett David Everett is a chief systems engineer at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. He has led the design, build, and launch of two science spacecraft (FAST and WIRE), and he was a key player during the launch of three others (SAMPEX, SWAS, and TRACE). His seventeen years at NASA has included substantial experience in the assembly and testing of spacecraft, including vibration, acoustics, magnetics, electromagnetic compatibility, and six spacecraft-level thermal vacuum tests. Between 1999 and 2005, Mr. Everett focused on early mission planning, including the design of over thirty space missions at Goddard's Integrated Mission Design Center. During three years as mission systems engineer for Global Precipitation Measurement, he led the technical design, developing top-level requirements and the overall architecture of this multi-satellite, international effort. Between April 2004 and April 2005, Mr. Everett was the chief systems engineer for the Ejection Module (EM), part of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Robotic Servicing and De-orbit Mission (HRSDM). The EM was a 25,000 lb spacecraft carrying the payloads and robot for the HRSDM. Mr. Everett led this in-house engineering effort for GSFC from initial concept to successful PDR completion in one year. Since September 2005, Mr. Everett has led the technical effort for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as the Mission Systems Engineer. LRO, scheduled to launch this fall, is the first mission of NASA’s Exploration Initiative, providing high resolution imagery and topography of the moon and characterizing the radiation environment in anticipation of future human exploration of the polar regions.

In addition to the spacecraft work, Mr. Everett has supported various systems engineering educational programs including: participating in two DACUM sessions for systems engineering, mentoring for the GSFC Systems Engineering Education Development (SEED) program, teaching the systems overview class for a spacecraft design course at the University of Maryland, serving on the UMBC Systems Engineering Advisory Panel (developed a systems engineering program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County), and serving on the University of Maryland College Park Systems Engineering Advisory Panel. Mr. Everett has actively supported NASA outreach activities through over 40 speaking engagements, coaching of robotics teams, and judging of science fairs.

David Everett has received 27 individual awards and 17 group awards for his efforts at NASA, and he has published 14 papers. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering summa cum laude, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1986 and a master's degree in electrical engineering at the University of Maryland in 1989. Before he joined NASA in 1991, Mr. Everett worked at Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he was awarded two patents for his designs of RF circuits.



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