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The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle is being designed with greater automation capabilities than any other crewed spacecraft in NASA's history. The Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) flight software architecture is designed to provide a flexible and evolvable framework that accommodates increasing levels of automation over time. Within the GN&C flight software, a data-driven approach is used to configure the software. This approach allows data reconfiguration and updates to automated sequences without requiring recompilation of the software. Because of the great dependency of the automation and the flight software on the configuration data, the data management is a vital component of the processes for software certification, mission design, and flight operations. To enable the automated sequencing and data configuration of the GN&C subsystem on Orion, a desktop database configuration tool has been developed. The database tool allows the specification of the GN&C activity sequences, the automated transitions in the software, and the corresponding parameter reconfigurations. These aspects of the GN&C automation on Orion are all coordinated via data management, and the database tool provides the ability to test the automation capabilities during the development of the GN&C software. In addition to providing the infrastructure to manage the GN&C automation, the database tool has been designed with capabilities to import and export artifacts for simulation analysis and documentation purposes. Furthermore, the database configuration tool, currently used to manage simulation data, is envisioned to evolve into a mission planning tool for generating and testing GN&C software sequences and configurations. A key enabler of the GN&C automation design, the database tool allows both the creation and maintenance of the data artifacts, as well as serving the critical role of helping to manage, visualize, and understand the data-driv en parameters both during software development and throughout the life of the Orion project.
Aerospace Conference, 2011 IEEE
Date of Conference: 5-12 March 2011