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VIPER Rover Software Team Conducts Preliminary Design Assessment

The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) Software Team conducted a Rover Software subsystem Preliminary Design Assessment (PDA) from May 13-14, 2020. The purpose of the assessment was to review the preliminary design of the Rover Software, demonstrate that the design met the software requirements, and gather feedback from review participants. The team presented an overview of the software development processes, the Rover Flight Software, Rover Ground Software, and Rover Simulation design, the testing approach and results, top risks, and programmatic status. The review had a daily virtual attendance of 70+ participants including the VIPER Review Team (VRT), VIPER management, Mission Systems Engineering (MSE), the Rover, Payloads, Integration and Testing (I&T), Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) and Mission Systems representatives, the Ames Office of the Chief Engineer (ACE), Ames management, and software subject matter experts from Ames Research Center (ARC), Johnson Space Center (JSC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

The Rover Software Team will also be contributing to upcoming Rover system design reviews:

  • Hibernation integrated review on May 28, 2020
  • Mobility integrated review on June 11, 2020
  • Navigation integrated review on June 16, 2020

BACKGROUND: The VIPER project will design, build, launch, and execute a lunar volatiles detection, measurement, and mapping mission hosted on a lunar rover, and delivered to a lunar polar region on a commercial mid-size lander and launch vehicle. A payload suite of instruments will be hosted on the VIPER mobile lunar rover platform, which constitutes the “Surface Segment”. This Surface Segment will then be mounted atop a commercial lander system, rounding out the overall “Space Segment”. A commercially-provided Launch Vehicle (LV) will deliver the VIPER Space Segment to the surface of the Moon. Once on the surface, the Surface Segment will roll off the lander and commence with a checkout, followed by a volatiles survey. The mission is scheduled for 120 days.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, and the Deputy Associate Administrator for eXploration (DAAX)

ROVER SOFTWARE TEAM: Mark Allan, Xavier Bouyssounouse, Iain Brookshaw, Lee Brownston, Philip Cooksey, Matt Deans, Stephen DeRosa, Larry Edwards, Jean Fan, Terry Fong, Lorenzo Fluckiger, Tom Flynn, Brian Hamilton, Matt Knudson, David Lees, Matt Machlis, Jack McCaffery, Scott McMichael, Ted Morse, Chris Provencher, Arno Rogg, Ann Schwarzmann, Ernie Smith, Ivan Spain, Antoine Tardy, Vinh To, Hans Utz, Massimo Vespignani, Jason Watkins, and Terry Welsh

POINT OF CONTACT: Chris Provencher,

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