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As a Software Engineer with LMCO, I provide realtime flight software for spacecraft as well as support for aircraft flight simulation hardware & software.

My roles at NASA have varied greatly, but the brief history of projects I’ve supported as a manager and/or as a software developer are as follows (most recent first):

  • Core Avionic & Software Technology Lab ( multi-mission software support
  • Biosentinal (Flight and Ground S/W Engineer).
  • Resource Prospector mission to the Moon (Flight and Ground S/W Engineer).
  • Advanced Control Technology research lab ( Flight simulator, autonomy, lab manager).
  • LADEE mission to the Moon (Flight S/W Engineer, Gnd s/w, I&T, Command Controller and Mission Planning/Sequencing).
  • Adaptive Control & Evolvable Systems (flight simulation, s/w engineering and h/w integration)
  • Observation-Based Visual Assessment (s/w & h/w for Air Force Simulator Research)
  • Visual Cueing Research (s/w & h/w for research of motion cues with pilot-in-the-loop part-task simulations)
  • Visual Simulation Systems (s/w for Spatial Awareness Research on HMDs, ShutterGlasses)
  • Man-Machine Design & Analysis System engineer ( s/w for helicopter simulation,cognitive modeling, and 3d-graphics )
  • NASA-IGES tool set s/w engineer (CAD data viewing and manipulation for CFD Grid Generation)

My interests

See Project pages:

  • BSCS, West Virginia University
  • MSCE, Santa Clara University

The Core Avionics & Software Technologies group (CAST)

This group formed out of the Lunar Atmosphere & Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission to the Moon. The historic team effort used cFE/cFS GOTS software from GSFC and well as ARC Simulink models (autocoded directly to cFE apps); I/O apps; unique unit/integrated testing environment; and custom Simulink models for spacecraft simulation. All software can run on vxWorks (hard real-time, event-driven) and Linux.

The team has progressed forward as follows:

  • capitalize on using a Knowledge Database (like Electronic Data Sheets) to generate FSW, GrndSW, C&T dictionary, and many other products).
  • generalize the LADEE product base to newer platforms (ARM-based and SPARC-based processors)
  • participated in the new open-source CFS community effort
  • moving this technology to other missions (such as Resource Prospector, Biosentinal)
  • moving this technology to UAVs

The Advanced Control Technologies Laboratory (within the ACES group)

This facility is operated by the ACES group and serves as a research testbed for new advanced control systems developed by staff, guest researchers and students. The facility has a long history of research support for a variety of projects and has hosted NASA Associate Administrators, Center Directors, Military leaders, corporate presidents & board members, and many distinguished researchers among is guests - in addition to countless school-age visitors very excited to see how flight simulators are used at Ames.

Several tools have been developed over many years in which I have participated. The following tools are ones that I have direct experience contributing code:


My first focus for ACES was to develop out-the-window visuals for flight simulator.

This software started out as an OpenGL-Performer code, then evolved into using OpenSceneGraph as the major 3D graphics API. Terrains for Ca/Nv and the entire USA were created using the OSG tool named "osgdem" (now known as VirtualPlanetBuilder).

Some of NelFly's major features:

  • runs on laptops and workstations
  • supports Linux, MacOSX and MS-Windows (cygwin)
  • supports several camera modes and windows
  • communicates with FLTz via UDP sockets
  • displays large areas of 3D terrain
  • displays any 3D aircraft with updating control surfaces

NeFly has been used with a variety of Earth-bound aircraft; Mars flyers; Lunar landers and orbiters; and can be extended as needed.

NelFly is not in active development.


Originally an Ames in-house code jointly written with Lockheed-Martin, VorView is a vortex-lattice code that computes many aeronautics coefficients and stability derivatives for rough, preliminary aircraft designs.

I have put significant effort into restructuring, porting, increasing performance, bug-fixing, and adding features to VorView to satisfy requirements for ACES research.

It runs with a GUI or in batch mode for lengthy test cases.

VorView is still in active development.

FlightDeck-Z (FDz)

This software is flight simulation system with primary and secondary OpenGL displays (and now JAVA) and is capable of flying a large set of built-in aircraft as well as those aircraft under rapid research development (some using the output of VorView).

FLTz can communicate directly with NelFly as well as other programs (eg FlightGear, XPlane) using appropriate protocols. It also supports various inceptors (usb joysticks, throttles, rudders and more serious flight hardware).

This software makes heavy use of memory-mapped files (shared memory) for internal communication between the many individual programs that encompass FDz.

FLTz is still in active development.

ACES Hardware

The Flight Simulator facility maintains a portable “integrated flight deck” originally built by Wittenstien Aerospace, Inc. and modified greatly by our team. This flight deck sits in front of a 120-degee field-of-view curved screen driven by three dVision projectors and linux workstation (twin Quadro FxK6000 boards). Blending is accomplished by a Mersive Sol server/Harmony box combo.

These workstations include PowerMacs, Linux, and Windows workstations.

ACES Resources

The facility has made substantial use of Open Source projects, commercial software, and other NASA codes - some of which were mentioned above.

The following is merely a subset of the tools used in the Flight Simulator and are available to the researchers and engineers of the facility:

  • GoogleEarth
  • Gigapan
  • Xplane v10
  • OpenSceneGraph
  • GDAL
  • OpenGL
  • Matlab / Simulink
  • Presagis Creator
  • Blender
  • Pro/Engineer
  • VehicleSketchPad (NASA LaRC)
  • FlightGear
  • RipTide (Army Research / NASA ARC)


S/W Engineer / Sr. Staff

Lockheed Martin IS&GS
NASA Ames Research Center
Mail Stop 269-1
P.O. Box 1 Moffett Field, CA 94035

Phone: 650-604-4494
Fax: 650-604-4036

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