Systems Engineering Seminar

Thoughts and Experiences on Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER)

Presented by:
Charles Baker, Code 592 & Jim Kellogg, Code 592

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 1:00 pm
Building 3 Auditorium


Systems engineering discussion of what it is like to work a Class D, International Space Station (ISS) Payload that is Principal Investigator (PI) led. The discussion includes: Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) payload overview, science instrument and measurement details, team interactions and lessons learned. Technical complexities during develop and early operations and on-orbit science data are also presented.


Charles Baker is the current Project System Engineer on the Lucy Project which will be the first mission to visit the Trojan asteroids. He was the Project Systems Engineer on NICER. Charles helped write the original Step 1 proposal. He led various Planetary Proposal efforts and was the Systems Engineering Lead for two Planetary Decadal studies in 2010. Prior to that he was the Thermal lead on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from 2004 and still supports on-orbit operations. Charles also worked Hubble Space Telescope as the thermal lead (2003-2004) and developed and flew NASA's first Loop Heat Pipe (1997) on space shuttle Columbia. This was followed up by developing, testing and flying a state-of-the-art actively controlled Propylene Loop Heat Pipe on the ICESat mission (2003).

Jim Kellogg is an Instrument Systems Engineer (ISE) in Goddard's Instrument/Payload Systems Engineering Branch and is currently the Lead ISE for the HIRMES/SOFIA Aircraft Instrument. He served as the ISE on NICER. Jim has over 30 years' experience working space flight missions beginning as a mechanical engineer on Shuttle borne Getaway Special and Spartan Payloads, then moving on to Goddard's in-house SMEX missions, and others like Triana, ST5, and IMAGE. He became a Systems Engineer through Goddard's SEED Program starting in 2004. As an ISE, he has worked with many incredibly talented individuals on a number of exciting and challenging instruments such as Swift BAT, SAM on the Curiosity Rover, MAVEN NGIMS, LADEE NMS and most recently NICER which launched and began commissioning in June of this year.


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