NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

Space Station Avionics


Data Management System Architecture

William E. Mallary and Virginia A. Whitelaw

Invited Paper
Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 75, No. 3
March 1987
pp. 320-328



Within the Space Station program, the Data Management System (DMS) functions in a dual role. First, it provides the hardware resources and software services which support the data processing, data communications, and data storage functions of the on-board subsystems and payloads. Second, it functions as an integrating entity which provides a common operating environment and human-machine interface for the operation and control of the orbiting Space Station systems and payloads by both the crew and the ground operators.

This paper discusses the evolution and derivation of the requirements and issues which have had significant effect on the design of the Space Station DMS, describes the DMS components and services which support system and payload operations, and presents the current architectural view of the system as it exists in October 1986; one-and-a-half years into the Space Station Phase B Definition and Preliminary Design Study.

Manned Spacecraft Automation and Robotics

Jon D. Erickson
Artificial Intelligence and Information Sciences Office
NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX 77058

Proceedings of the IEEE
Vol. 75, No. 3, March 1987, pp. 417-426 erickson_87


The Space Station holds promise of being a showcase user and driver of advanced automation and robotics technology.  The author addresses the advances in automation and robotics from the Space Shuttle - with its high-reliability redundancy management and fault-tolerance design and its remote manipulator system - to the projected knowledge-based systems for monitoring, control; fault diagnosis, planning, and scheduling, and the telerobotic systems of the future Space Station.

Avionics Architecture for the U.S. Segment of the International Space Station Alpha

J. Smith1, M. McDonald2, S. Suchting3, and J. Schikner1
1McDonnel Douglas Aerospace
2NASA - Johnson Space Center
3Boeing Defense and Space Group

A Collection of Technical Papers
AIAA Computing in Aerospace 10
March 28-30, 1995/San Antonio, TX
pp. 163-172

The International Space Station Alpha (ISSA) is a joint project between the United States, European Space Agency, Japan, Canada and Russia to develop and fly a space station in the later part of the 1990s.  Each of these partners will contribute one or more pressurized modules or other elements to this new space station.  The United States will be the largest hardware contributor to this project, and this paper will describe the avionics architecture for the U.S. provided pressurized modules and truss segments.   The avionics contained within these U.S. modules and segments will perform many of the core engineering and payload support functions for the ISSA.  These functions include: the command and data handling, communications and tracking, guidance navigation and control (in partnership with the Russian elements), and electrical power generation and distribution.  This paper will describe the architecture of the avionics systems that will perform these core engineering avionics functions, as well as provide a discussion on the avionics necessary for the proper functioning of the core engineering avionics supported functions such as thermal control, life support, and mechanisms.

Data Systems for the Space Station and Beyond

John R. Garman
Johnson Space Center

AIAA/ACM/NASA/IEEE Computers in Aerospace V Conference; A Collection of Technical Papers
Long Beach, California
October 21-23, 1985



This paper addresses the use of data systems within the Space Station Program both as management and engineering tools as well as operational components, flight and ground, of the overall Space Station system and the effects that we can project across the Agency back into Shuttle operations and forward into future development and operational programs.

In sum, this paper discusses the changing nature of software architectures and the growing leverage of software and computers on the success of a major program like the Space Station. It contrasts the characteristics of the flight and ground support systems for the Space station to those of the Shuttle and prior programs, and pleads the case for an end to unique project support systems and architectures in the name of cost, evolution, and technology transparency. It examines the JSC strategy toward data systems and the application of that macroarchitecture and approach toward data systems development and utilization on the Space station Program.



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