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Shuttle orbit flight control design lessons: Direction for space station

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2 Author(s)
Cox, K.J. ; NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX ; Hattis, Philip D.

The Space Shuttle orbit flight control system, which operates during all exo-atmospheric flight phases, has successfully met operational requirements. Many design integration and operational issues that required resolution during development and testing provide an experience base that will benefit the development of future space systems, particularly the Space Station. To this end, the applicable Shuttle and Space Station hardware/software is reviewed with some perspective provided on how current design groundrules were derived and how issues that affected the Shuttle orbit control system design are a pathway for the Space Station. Some of the most significant lessons learned from the Shuttle are summarized, with a discussion of the effect of performance and design of hardware, including the data processing system, on software structures and usage procedures. Crew interface issues and important results from man-in-the-loop tests are summarized. Problems resulting from trying to meet difficult orbital operational objectives, including some sophisticated payload operations are characterized. Several proposed Shuttle flight control design improvements, developed in response to some of the lessons learned so far, are identified. Potential application of the Shuttle design lessons and new control technologies to the Space Station are discussed.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 3 )