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Program Systems Engineering

The MSC Program Systems Engineering (PSE) team at NASA GRC supports the systems engineering activities of the Space Communication and Navigations (SCaN) Program at NASA Headquarters. It works with other teams at Headquarters, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and at the Jet Propulsion Lab to provide the systems engineering function for SCaN.

Project Areas Supported

Systems Architecture & Requirements

GRC PSE supports the development of the formal Program-level documentation for SCaN. GRC is responsible for the SCaN Architecture Definition Documents (ADD) and provides support in the development of the Systems Requirements Document (SRD), Interface Requirements Documents (IRD), and the Concept of Operations (ConOps). These documents describe the SCaN Network as they currently exist, and as they are expected to evolve over the next decade. Figure 1 shows the notional SCaN Network Service Architecture in 2025.

Figure 1. Notional SCaN Network Service Architecture circa 2025.

Engineering Studies & Analysis

GRC PSE participates in SCaN PSE trade studies conducted to help define the evolution of the SCaN Network. The results of these studies are formally documented in the SCaN ADD, SRD, and ConOps, which are then reviewed and approved by the SCaN Program Control Board (SPCB). SCaN PSE is currently studying potential options for a Space-Based Relay (SBR) to provide relay communications service to NASA science and Human Spaceflight missions.

Configuration, Technical Data, and Tools Management

GRC conducts communications analysis and develops new tools (software) for PSE. Figure 2 shows an example of analysis conducted for the SBR Trade Study.

Figure 2. The predicted instantaneous communications coverage that could be provided by a steerable single Ka-band beam of a SBR to the east coast of the United States.

Program Systems Engineering Information

GRC PSE Project Manager: Charles Niederhaus,