In only dual years’ time, a organisation of NASA engineers achieved what some suspicion impossible: a organisation combined a smaller, some-more able “brain” for smaller spacecraft.
Led by Project Manager and Chief Engineer Noosha Haghani, who works during NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a organisation leveraged years of believe gained during a growth of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, or MMS, to pattern a significantly smaller wiring system.
Dubbed MUSTANG, brief for a Modular Unified Space Technology Avionics for Next Generation missions, a record acts as a mission’s mind and executive shaken system, determining any duty indispensable to accumulate systematic information from a Small Explorer-type mission. This includes all from booster authority and information doing to opinion control, power, and propulsion, to name only a few tasks. The organisation also grown a movement of a complement — iMUSTANG — for instrument wiring and, like a sibling, it allows users to select opposite capabilities depending on instrument needs.
“Key to MUSTANG’s success has been a formation of hardware and program pattern from day one,” pronounced Deputy Director of Goddard’s Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate and former MMS Project Manager Craig Tooley, who spearheaded a effort. “It provides limit estimate opening and is rarely flexible.”
Two Versions Developed
Through their use of mix-and-match wiring cards, a dual MUSTANG variations give NASA goal and instrument developers a smaller, rarely modular, off-the-shelf avionics complement that can be customized to accommodate probably any smaller-mission requirement — and, improved yet, during a reduced cost, Haghani added. While inapt for some large, flagship-style spacecraft, MUSTANG suits cost-constrained, nonetheless high-performance missions, Haghani said.
“One of a goals was to emanate an avionics complement that goal planners would not have to redesign for any mission,” pronounced Pete Spidaliere, a Goddard operative who participated in MUSTANG’s development. “We wanted to give a core a new approach of doing things,” Haghani added. “In a past, everybody wanted to start from blemish and rise their possess avionics systems, that is expensive. By regulating MUSTANG and iMUSTANG, developers can concentration their time and resources on their missions and instruments, not a wiring using them.”
Already, a dual MUSTANG variations have captivated users. NASA’s Pre-Aerosols Clouds and Ocean Ecosystems mission, or PACE, and a Global Ecosystems Dynamics Investigation, or GEDI, have comparison MUSTANG to run their operations and are appropriation a growth of additional capabilities that could be used in other destiny NASA missions. Meanwhile, one of PACE’s baselined instruments, a Ocean Color Instrument, or OCI, skeleton to occupy iMUSTANG.
The bid to qualification a modular avionics complement began about dual years ago only as Goddard engineers were putting a finishing touches on a 4 booster that make adult NASA’s MMS mission.
It became apparent to Tooley, who before served as MMS plan manager, that a core could revoke a cost of booster wiring — traditionally an expensive, multi-million-dollar endeavour — and turn some-more rival by charity an off-the-shelf, ala-carte avionics complement that users could customize to accommodate their possess needs.
“The proclivity is to keep house redesign costs to a minimum,” Haghani said.
Smaller by Half
Taking MMS’s avionics system, a MUSTANG organisation reduced by half a distance of a housing box and began conceptualizing and contrast a core set of cards determining critical booster functions. Since then, a organisation combined 22 lightweight, rarely able cards, including one that controls higher-speed communications of adult to 1.2 gigabits per second. MUSTANG was born.
“We took a MMS designs, shrunk them down, and combined some absolute capabilities,” Spidaliere said, adding that a organisation cut costs by a cause of 3 and crafted a complement that is lighter and some-more strong than anything built before during Goddard.
“One of a good things about this bid and Noosha’s organisation is that they did a impossible,” Spidaliere added, alluding to a bid that resulted in a unconditionally new avionics complement in reduction than dual years. “It never dawned on them that this couldn’t be done.”
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