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Thursday, August 18, 2016

NASA Astronauts Award Draper Engineer Prestigious Silver Snoopy

Schulenberg led development of Space Launch System Flight Vehicle flight software

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Craig Schulenberg, Senior Member of the NASA Flight Software Design team at Draper, was presented with the Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Silver Snoopy award at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) annual awards ceremony on July 21, 2016. Schulenberg was recognized for his contributions to the success and flight safety of the Space Launch System (SLS) Program, which is developing the launch vehicle for the Orion spacecraft, tasked with carrying astronauts to deep space.

The SFA Program is a NASA-managed motivational and recognition program with invited representation from NASA and contractors having major responsibilities for human spaceflight mission success. The Silver Snoopy award, known as the Astronauts’ Personal Achievement Award, recognizes “professionalism, dedication, and outstanding support that greatly enhanced space flight safety and mission success.” On behalf of the astronaut team, Astronaut Andrew Morgan presented Schulenberg with a sterling Silver Snoopy pin that was flown aboard EFT-1—the first unmanned flight test of Orion in 2014—as well as a signed certificate of appreciation and a commendation letter.

For SLS, Draper is developing flight software; guidance, navigation and control systems; and avionics systems. Schulenberg was recognized for his contribution to developing the SLS flight software. Schulenberg’s developments and contributions were instrumental in creating program modifications that increased quality, reliability, safety, efficiency and performance. Fewer than 1% of the aerospace program workforce receives the Silver Snoopy award.

In the commendation letter, Morgan writes, “We in the flight end of the business know that success on our space flight missions will be measured by the performance of individuals like you. The exceptional manner in which you carry out your responsibilities exceeds normal requirements and demonstrates pride in your work.”

Draper continues to support development of the SLS. The first launch of SLS, which will launch an uncrewed Orion on its first exploration mission around Earth’s moon, is projected for the autumn of 2018.

Craig Schulenberg (center) was honored with the NASA Silver Snoopy award, presented by Astronaut Andrew Morgan and Jody Singer, Deputy Director, MSFC. Photo Credit: Fred Deaton, Marshall Space Flight Center
Capabilities Used
Autonomous Systems

Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements.  Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.

Fault-Tolerant Systems

Draper has developed mission-critical fault-tolerant systems for more than four decades. These systems are deployed in space, air, and undersea platforms that require extremely high reliability to accomplish challenging missions. These solutions incorporate robust hardware and software partitioning to achieve fault detection, identification and reconfiguration. Physical redundancy or multiple, identical designs protect against random hardware failures and employ rigor in evaluating differences in computed results to achieve exact consensus, even in the presence of faults. The latest designs leverage cost-effective, multicore commercial processors to implement software-based redundancy management systems in compact single-board layouts that perform the key timing, communication, synchronization and voting algorithm functions needed to maintain seamless operation after one, two or three arbitrary faults of individual components.

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