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Peter Berg Receives Spaceflight Awareness Award

Peter Berg’s contributions to human spaceflight will be recognized at the 2015 Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Honoree Event in conjunction with the RS-25 Engine Test in August. Peter Berg developed an innovative methodology, the State Analysis Model (SAM), which enables analysis of complex, interconnected systems early in the development phases for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). SAM is a suite of MATLAB-based tools that effectively and efficiently found algorithmic errors in the Mission and Fault Management (M&FM) algorithms for Vehicle Management. These errors ranged from a missed step in the Launch Countdown sequence, to identifying paths that did not lead to an abort. Although these kinds of errors should eventually be found through the traditional system engineering approach, that would be much later in the development and integration of the software and, therefore, would be much more complex and expensive to correct.

In addition, the tools Peter developed resulted in organizations outside of Mission and Fault Management, such as Propulsion, Safety, and Mission Assurance; and Operations, to become interested in using SAM to understand the behavior of the launch vehicle. In fact, because of the early important contributions of the SAM, Peter was asked to produce a video demonstration of SAM executing for the SLS Vehicle Management Team’s Critical Design Review presentation last month.

Peter’s plans for future work include automatic translation of M&FM algorithms to the SAM representation in order to reduce the cost of model development and provide quick turn-around of new state models when the algorithms are modified. This work is aimed at significantly reducing the costs of thorough testing and analysis of flight-critical software to ensure quality and safety.

BACKGROUND: The Space Flight Awareness program is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) safety awareness, employee motivation, and recognition program. HEOMD honors employees who have performed exemplary work in support of human spaceflight. Selected honorees will be awarded with recognition at the SFA Honoree Award Ceremony, an SFA honoree award and certificate, a tour of NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, and a viewing of the RS-25 Engine Test scheduled for Aug. 12-14, 2015, at Stennis Space Center. This will be a full duration test of one of the engines that will power the Space Launch System.

PROGRAM FUNDING: Space Launch System Mission and Fault Management, Marshall Space Flight Center

POC: Ann Patterson-Hine, ann.patterson-hine@nasa.gov

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