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Proceedings Paper

The WISE satellite development: managing the risks and the opportunities
Author(s): Valerie G. Duval; John D. Elwell; Joan F. Howard; William R. Irace; Feng-Chuan Liu
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Paper Abstract

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) MIDEX mission is surveying the entire sky in four infrared bands from 3.4 to 22 micrometers. The WISE instrument consists of a 40 cm telescope, a solid hydrogen cryostat, a scan mirror mechanism, and four 1K x1K infrared detectors. The WISE spacecraft bus provides communication, data handling, and avionics including instrument pointing. A Delta 7920 successfully launched WISE into a Sun-synchronous polar orbit on December 14, 2009. WISE was competitively selected by NASA as a Medium cost Explorer mission (MIDEX) in 2002. MIDEX missions are led by the Principal Investigator who delegates day-to-day management to the Project Manager. Given the tight cost cap and relatively short development schedule, NASA chose to extend the development period one year with an option to cancel the mission if certain criteria were not met. To meet this and other challenges, the WISE management team had to learn to work seamlessly across institutional lines and to recognize risks and opportunities in order to develop the flight hardware within the project resources. In spite of significant technical issues, the WISE satellite was delivered on budget and on schedule. This paper describes our management approach and risk posture, technical issues, and critical decisions made.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7796, An Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned II, 77960E (7 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.864357
Show Author Affiliations
Valerie G. Duval, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John D. Elwell, Space Dynamics Lab. (United States)
Joan F. Howard, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
William R. Irace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Feng-Chuan Liu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7796:
An Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned II
Mark A. Kahan, Editor(s)

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