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  • Cassini-Huygens - Organizing and Running a Multifaceted Mission Greg Fletcher (210) 522-6269, gfletcher@swri.orgProgram Manager, Southwest Research Institute Used with Permission
  • Outline• Deep Space Missions• Cassini-Huygens Mission Background• Spacecraft Overview• Project Organization• Science Payload• INMS (Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer)• Staffing Plan Management• Distributed Operations Concept• Process Driven• Schedule Driven• Decision Making• Secrets to Cassini’s Success Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • What are Deep Space Missions All About?If you’re a scientist: It’s all about the science! Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • What are Deep Space Mission About for Program Managers?It’s all about managing the scientistsand Engineersand Software Designersand Budgetand ScheduleIf you don’t do it well, it will getaway from you… Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Cassini-Huygens Mission Background
  • Cassini-Huygens Mission Background• Cassini-Huygens is a jointNASA/ESA/ASI robotic spacecraftcurrently in orbit around Saturn• Goal is to explore the Saturnsystem, with its many moons, andrings• Launched on October 15, 1997• Reached Saturn orbit July 1, 2004• Huygens Probe landed on thesurface of Titan January 14, 2005• Cassini Orbiter continues tocollect data studying Saturn, theRings, Titan, Saturn’s many othermoons, and Saturn’smagnetosphere• Hundreds of scientists andengineers from the United Statesand 16 European countriesChemical Engineering Division Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry &
  • Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft Overview
  • Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft Overview• Cassini spacecraft, including theHuygens Probe, is the largest, mostcomplex interplanetary spacecraft NASAhas flown to date• Approximately the length of a school busfrom the tip of the main antenna to themain engines• Launch mass of approximately 5,600 kg(12,000 lb), including 3,132 kg (6,900 lb)of propellants• Height of 6.8 m (22 ft)• Main antenna width of 4 meters (13 ft),though RPWS and MAG stick out thesides by as much as 9 meters (29 ft• Over 1,630 interconnected electricalcomponents• 22,000 wire connections• Over 14 km (8.7 mi) of cablesEngineering Division Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical
  • Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Project Organization
  • Indicates wherethe 12 instrument PIs/TLs report to the project Indicates where the 12 instrument teams fit into the science and uplink organization Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Cassini Instrumentation• 12 instrument teams each based in a different locationCAPS – Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), San Antonio, TxCDA – Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, GermanyCIRS – GSFC, Greenbelt, MdINMS – Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), San Antonio, TxISS – Space Science Institute, Boulder, CoMAG – Imperial College, London, UKMIMI – Applied Physics Labs, Columbia, MdRADAR – Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CaRPWS – University of Iowa, Iowa City, IoRSS - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CaUVIS – University of Colorado, Boulder, CoVIMS - Lunar and Planetary Labs, U of Arizona Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • INMS (Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer)
  • INMS (Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer)• Measures neutral and ion species from 1 to 100 AMU (m/q)• Designed to measure Titan’s atmosphere, but can measureany particles that are present in high enough concentrations Example of INMS data (spectra) Example of INMS data (spectra) with basic processing applied Engineering Division Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical with labels showing what is represented in each signal group.
  • INMS Organization By Task• INMS team is broken into smaller teams by area ofresponsibility• Some members of the team are in more than one group• Only one person on the team is dedicated full time to Cassini Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • INMS Organization By Task• ScienceTeam − Responsible for deciding what types of observations INMS should make for each target, like Titan, Enceladus, the Rings, and Saturn’s magnetosphere − Analyzing data and publishing results Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • INMS Organization By Task• OperationsTeam − Creating command files based on the science plan − Monitoring health and safety, including long term trends − Data production − Data archival Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • INMS Organization By Task• Development Team − Design and develop INMS ground system (ION) − Design and develop Flight Software − Develop analysis toolkit for data processing and analysis Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Tethys Epimetheus EnceladusHyperion
  • Staffing Plan Management (1 of 2)• Long duration deep space missions like Cassini presentunique staffing challenges• New people working on Cassini today were newborns whenthe Cassini program office was formed at JPL in 1988 − Key people retire or are promoted into management roles• On missions like Cassini, key staff members such asoperations team members can take up to two years to fully train• Post Doctoral staff members with the right experience cantake years to find − In some cases, we take on students as undergraduates, and keep them on through their Post-Doc and beyond Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Staffing Plan Management (2 of 2)Good News:• Having only one full time staff member on INMS allowsflexibility − Allows for more people to be cross trained to avoid single point failures − Scheduling vacations and travel for key people is easierBad News:• Having very few full time employees means that nearlyeveryone works on other programs − Risk of not having resources available exactly when they are needed due to high priority events on other programs• As a manager you have to decide how to beststaff your program Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Distributed Operations
  • Distributed Operations• Distributed operations means the 12 instrument teams arebased in different locations around the world (CDA is inHeidelberg, Germany, MAG is in London, UK)• Science and operations for each instrument are run from theremote sites• JPL plays the following roles: − Program Office (Cassini PM and Project Scientist) − Spacecraft Operations (SCO) team − Coordination function for science planning − Merging, processing and loading instrument and spacecraft commanding Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Distributed Operations (cont)How do scientists, engineers and managers from so manyinstitutions communicate? Telecons Telecons and more Telecons… Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Distributed Operations (cont)• Instrument teams’ co-investigators are also distributed atdifferent sites• INMS has science team members at: - University of California Berkeley - University of Kansas - Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Labs - Goddard Space Flight Center - University of Maryland - University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Labs - Imperial College, London, UK (Affiliate) - Central University, Taiwan Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Distributed Operations (cont)• Additional communication needs to be facilitated to coordinatethe INMS team internally − Weekly Telecons − Team meetings two to three times per year − Phone calls to team members as necessary Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Disadvantages of Distributed Teams• Makes communication across the program complicated − Scheduling meetings across 18 times zones means that some of the teams have to participate at off hours• During the initial planning of the science timelines there wereas many as 28 hours of telecons per week − Smaller teams often only had one or two people covering all the these meetings, which doesn’t leave much time for getting other work done − Leads to consistently working long days for an extended period Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Disadvantages of Distributed Teams (cont.)• High volume of email to keep up with negotiations regardingdetails of the plan• Negotiations between 12 teams is difficult enough in person,let alone by phone and email Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Advantages of Distributed Teams• Allows experts from around the world to participate in theprogram as instrument PIs − PIs are then in turn supported by a science team who are experts in relevant fields• Encourages young people to get involved in space scienceby providing funding to Universities and Institutes for graduatestudents Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Process and Schedule
  • Process Driven• Well documented processes reduce risk by preventingmistakes − No margin for error in spaceflight − Mistakes in flight can be catastrophic• Cassini program has a formal process for delivery and mergeof all instrument and spacecraft subsystem commanding• INMS Operations team has a checklist for every task weperform• Formal review process for INMS instrument commanding priorto each delivery port• Process for review of housekeeping data• Process for responding to flight anomalies• Process for upload of ‘realtime’ commands Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Schedule Driven• Most spaceflight missions are schedule driven by harddeadlines − Launch date has a hard window due to trajectory based on planetary alignments − Command deliveries have hard deadlines based on observation events• If an instrument misses a delivery deadline, they are pulledfrom that sequence (and lose about 40 days of observations) − On Cassini, no instrument or subsystem has ever missed a delivery deadline Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Decision Making
  • Decision Making• After the Cassini Spacecraft was designed and the instrumentteams were selected, Congress decided the mission was goingto cost to much• Decision was made to remove instrument scan platforms andre-design the spacecraft to hard mount science payloads• Saved money up front in spacecraft construction• More than made up for savings in added operationalcomplexity − Drives instrument negotiations for science observations − Flight rule constraints are far more complicated − Observation designs are more complicated (instrument teams actually have to design the spacecraft pointing for their observations) Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Decision MakingWhat is the lesson to be learned from this?Every decision managers make, effectseverything that happens on the programfrom that point on, so…Good decision making skills are essentialto be a successful program manager Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Tough PM Decisions• First efforts to create an integrated science plan startedslowly because the scientists assigned to the planning werecreating a timeline that was so complicated it could not beimplemented − Program management recognized this within the first two weeks and created guidelines to allow the science plan to match the workforce available to implement the timeline Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Tough PM Decisions• Huygens team realized they had a problem with Dopplershift in the transmitter that would cause loss of critical data − Solution to this problem was complicated and there were a number of decisions and actions taken to remedy the problem − Single largest action was the Cassini navigation team modified the first two orbits around Saturn, changing the trajectory for the probe mission without effecting the orbits after Rev 3 Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Management Challenges• Facilitating communication among your team, and to otherteams as appropriate• Spaceflight programs can be very demanding, and teamsare often working against hard deadlines like launch dates orevents in orbit − Working long hours is fairly routine, so managers need to be careful not to burn out team members − Plan the work to be complete well in advance, so there is ample time to review and make corrections• Scientists, engineers and software developers are all verybright, creative, independent people and are typicallychallenging to manage• Delegate appropriately − Spread the work load as evenly as possible − Delegate authority with the responsibility Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Secrets to Cassini’s Success• Effective communication!• Tremendously talented and dedicatedscientists and engineers who are all vestedin the program’s success• Cooperation and trust between teams• Managers who know how to organize,plan and follow through Southwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division
  • Backup Slides
  • Cassini Trajectory from Earth to SaturnSouthwest Research Institute – Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division