Systems Engineering Seminar

Touring the Trojan Asteroids with Lucy and the L'Ralph Instrument

Presented by:
Matt Garrison, Code 592

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Building 3 Auditorium


Lucy is a GSFC-managed Discovery mission to survey the Trojan asteroids trapped in the Sun-Jupiter L4 and L5 Lagrange points. These bodies are believed to be the remnants of the formation of the early solar system scattered into their current position by the migration of the gas giants. L'Ralph is the primary science instrument on the spacecraft. It is a combination visible imaging camera and near infrared imaging spectrometer intended to determine the composition and variation of the Trojans. The mission architecture consists of single fly-bys of multiple Trojan asteroids; the inability revisit any target has driven the team to include some strategic redundancy and fault management. The Lucy team structure consists of alternating layers of GSFC and SwRI personnel which complicates the communication up and down the org chart. Lucy will launch in 2021.


Matt Garrison is the Instrument Systems Engineer for the L'Ralph instrument on the Lucy spacecraft. He graduated from Penn State with a BS and MS in aerospace engineering in 2005 and has worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center ever since. He worked in the Thermal Engineering Branch for a decade on projects including the James Webb Space Telescope, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System. He has recently moved to the Instrument & Payload Systems Engineering branch to work on L'Ralph.


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