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Advanced Caution and Warning System Supports Orion Entry and Landing Simulation
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Advanced Caution and Warning System Supports Orion Entry and Landing Simulation

The Advanced Caution and Warning System (ACAWS) was featured in the first integrated entry, descent, and landing simulation of the first crewed Orion mission conducted on November 3, 2016. The simulation included Commander and Pilot flight crew members in a cockpit mockup, a Flight Activities Officer, and a Mission Control Center team including a Flight Director and CapCom, with system discipline controllers for Mechanisms and Power, Environmental and Life Support Systems, and Propulsion. The entry scenario began prior to the Orion Crew Module separating from the Service Module, continued through entry, parachute deployment, and splashdown, and ended after the crew completed several post-landing procedures. ACAWS includes both a Diagnostic Reasoner that identifies a failure root cause, and a Failure Impacts Reasoner that identifies equipment and functionality affected by a failure. The simulation introduced new Failure Impact Displays for the flight crew that were developed from information generated by the ACAWS Failure Impacts Reasoner. The Flight Control Team used the ACAWS displays that were first developed for the Orion Exporation Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission flown in December of 2014 to provide crucial information about system failures and failure impacts.

The integrated simulation was conducted in the Astronaut Office’s Rapid Prototyping Lab (RPL) at Johnson Space Center (JSC). The ACAWS team created the Flight Control Room (FCR) in the RPL as part of the ACAWS test and evaluation, and has continued to enhance and support the RPL FCR. It includes consoles for six flight controllers and a Simulation Supervisor, multiple large displays for global information, such as spacecraft position and mission time, and voice loops for communications between controllers, flight crew, and back room support. The ACAWS team has been instrumental in defining simulation scenarios with realistic failure cases, and has developed tools to combine recorded nominal data with simulated failure signatures to enable rapid, low-cost creation of failure cases. In short, the ACAWS team is responsible for providing the RPL with the ability to conduct early and low-cost integrated simulations.

BACKGROUND: The ACAWS project is an element of the Autonomous Systems and Operations Project under the Advanced Exploration Systems Division. The ACAWS team developed the RPL Flight Control Room for monitoring the Orion EFT-1 mission, and the Crew Office has recognized its usefulness for evaluation and training of both flight crew and flight control teams. The purpose of the Autonomous Systems and Operations project is to define vehicle capabilities, roles, and responsibilities of ground and crew, and their interactions, in order to enable NASA missions to distant destinations when communication delays preclude interactive operational decision-making between flight crew and Mission Control. Spacecraft autonomy for long-distance and long-duration missions into the solar system will require the kinds of intelligent systems information about failures that ACAWS provides.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), Advanced Exploration Systems Division

TEAM: ARC: Gordon Aaseng (ACAWS Team Lead), Eric Barszcz, Jeremy Johnson, John Ossenfort, Adam Sweet, and Henry Valdez; JSC: Jeff Fox, Richard Morency, Lee Morin, Haifa Moses, and Matt Souris

POINT OF CONTACT: Gordon Aaseng, gordon.b.aaseng@nasa.gov

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