Collaborative Software Development and Sustaining Engineering: An Improved Method to Meet the NASA Mission.
AffiliationUnited Space Alliance (USA)
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AbstractThis paper reports on the Space Shuttle, Record and Playback Subsystem (RPS) upgrade project turnaround brought about through extensive collaborative software development. The new project and systems engineering methodologies employed on this project resulted in many positive effects over the status quo method employed to develop and upgrade systems. These effects include; 1) a reduction in the initial software development costs, 2) a reduction in the development timeline, 3) improved marketability of the software technology developed, 4) improved product quality deployed to operations, and 5) improved maintainability. Attributes within each of the aforementioned are examined in support of these assertions. Prior to implementing this new method, the RPS upgrade project had been under development for seven years using the standard software development method. This involves developing custom applications using Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware, operating systems and compilers. A change in strategy was effected on this pathfinder project by adopting a COTS telemetry ground station software package to provide basic ground station functionality and building additional required capabilities to complete the project. The merits of having employed this methodology are explored using the probable outcome of continued custom software development as a basis for comparison . This collaboration between the United Space Alliance (USA) and AP Data Systems Inc.(an AP Labs company), resulted in software innovations in FM and PCM processing software as well as general ground station management software. The four technology transfer submittals for new software innovations resulting from this collaboration are discussed.
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