Text Size

Top Software Innovators Recognized

JSC recently celebrated and recognized the talents and minds of some of its innovators in the area of software by presenting the Inventions and Contributions Board (ICB) Space Act Awards and the 2008 JSC Exceptional Software of the Year Awards.

Center Director Michael Coats and Advanced Planning Office Director Dave Leestma presented award certificates at the ceremony.

The team that developed the Advanced NASA Technology Architecture for Exploration Studies (ANTARES) was selected as the recipient of three awards, the ICB Software of the Year Honorable Mention, the ICB Software Release Award and the JSC 2008 Exceptional Software. That team included Amanda Acevedo, Jason Arnold, Curt Erck, Amanda Garemore, Robert Gay, Chad Hanak, Brian Hoelscher, Kurt McCall, William Othon and Timothy Runkle. The ANTARES is simulation software designed to support a wide variety of guidance, navigation, and control engineering analyses. It is a widely used and tested simulation tool for multiple centers working in collaboration on vehicle design. It reduces redundancy of effort and realizes important agency-wide goals.

ICB Software Release and JSC 2008 Exceptional Software awards were presented to Sharon Goza, Marsha Hennigan, Daniel LaBasse, David Melendrez and Daniel J. Smith for the development of the Thermal Protection System Imagery Inspection Management System, (TIIMS). This software is used during inspection phases of each shuttle mission for quick visual feedback, detailed inspection data, and easy-to-generate PDF reports. This system allows a user to quickly ascertain the status of the inspection process and current determination of any problem zones.

Also receiving ICB Software Release and JSC 2008 Exceptional Software awards were James Barrett, Jack Brazzel, Fred Clark, Christopher Foster, Heather Hinkel, William Jackson, Thomas Manning, Zoran Milenkovic, Pete Spehar and W. Scott Tamblyn for the development of Rendezvous and Proximity Operations Program (RPOP). RPOP is real-time guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) domain piloting-aid software. RPOP provides the crew with unique, real-time "God's Eye View" or "Situational Awareness" of their relative trajectory and attitude while flying the vehicle in to dock with the International Space Station.

ICB Software Release and JSC Exceptional Software awards were also given to L. Allen Brewer, Ronald V. Brown, Ryan Gyorfi, Elizabeth S. Hale and Robert Martella for the development of Multiplexer/DeMultiplexer Loading Tool (MDMLT). This innovation is a mechanism to accurately and quickly deploy in a large quantity the software/data needed to support hardware on the ISS. The time to load and verify such large amounts of data is dramatically reduced by this system.

Receiving JSC 2008 Exceptional Software and ICB Software Release awards was the team of David Beadle, Nicole Bolinger, Paul Kiernan, Frank Plassmeier, Scott K. Smith, John Wade, Mikael Wolff and Neil Woodbury for the development of International Procedures Viewer (IPV) Suite. The IPV team developed a new suite of software applications to provide and support the use of electronic procedures on the ISS, in the mission control center, and in the office. It is an integral part of operations and is extensively used by the onboard ISS crew, by the flight control teams in Houston, by other NASA centers, and by international partners such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

And the team of Carol Coats-Beal, Stuart Engelhardt, Scott Hetherington, Martha Hollman, Richard Laws, Billy Matlock, Stacey Morrison and Jeff Richeson received the JSC 2008 Exceptional Software Award for their work in developing the Bioastronautics Planning System Configuration Management Tool. It was developed as the main tool used by the Space Life Sciences Configuration Management group to process actions, directives, and change requests, and to administer control board operations within the Space Life Sciences Directorate.

Over the past 50 years, the ICB has issued more than 101,000 awards totaling $46 million for NASA employees and its contractors for their innovations. During fiscal year 2008, the ICB awarded 3,300 technology awards totaling more than $2 million with JSC innovators receiving 270 of those awards totaling $140,000.

The NASA Inventions and Contributions Board was established by the Space Act of 1958, which created NASA in 1958. The mission of the ICB is to reward and promote outstanding scientific or technical contributions sponsored, adopted, supported, or used by NASA which are significant to aeronautics and space activities. The JSC Exceptional Software Awards were created by JSC to reward the outstanding efforts of the JSC software developers.