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Proceedings Paper

Agile hardware and software systems engineering for critical military space applications
Author(s): Philip M. Huang; Andrew A. Knuth; Robert O. Krueger; Margaret A. Garrison-Darrin
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Paper Abstract

The Multi Mission Bus Demonstrator (MBD) is a successful demonstration of agile program management and system engineering in a high risk technology application where utilizing and implementing new, untraditional development strategies were necessary. MBD produced two fully functioning spacecraft for a military/DOD application in a record breaking time frame and at dramatically reduced costs. This paper discloses the adaptation and application of concepts developed in agile software engineering to hardware product and system development for critical military applications. This challenging spacecraft did not use existing key technology (heritage hardware) and created a large paradigm shift from traditional spacecraft development. The insertion of new technologies and methods in space hardware has long been a problem due to long build times, the desire to use heritage hardware, and lack of effective process. The role of momentum in the innovative process can be exploited to tackle ongoing technology disruptions and allowing risk interactions to be mitigated in a disciplined manner. Examples of how these concepts were used during the MBD program will be delineated. Maintaining project momentum was essential to assess the constant non recurring technological challenges which needed to be retired rapidly from the engineering risk liens. Development never slowed due to tactical assessment of the hardware with the adoption of the SCRUM technique. We adapted this concept as a representation of mitigation of technical risk while allowing for design freeze later in the program's development cycle. By using Agile Systems Engineering and Management techniques which enabled decisive action, the product development momentum effectively was used to produce two novel space vehicles in a fraction of time with dramatically reduced cost.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8385, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications V, 83850F (24 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919303
Show Author Affiliations
Philip M. Huang, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Back Nine Engineering Inc. (United States)
Andrew A. Knuth, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Back Nine Engineering Inc. (United States)
Robert O. Krueger, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Back Nine Engineering Inc. (United States)
Margaret A. Garrison-Darrin, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8385:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications V
Khanh D. Pham; Joseph L. Cox; Richard T. Howard; Henry Zmuda, Editor(s)

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