Systems Engineering is a valuable process that is utilized throughout the lifecycle of all research and technology developed activities that Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) develops. Systems engineers are responsible for looking at all of the parts of an individual system and then figuring out how these parts can be interconnected. In short they are looking at the big picture.
Systems Engineering as Part of the Technology Process
Systems engineers are involved with projects when they are at their earliest Technology Readiness Levels. They assist in making sure that the finished product will be a tool that will help to meet and fulfill SCaN's goals and objectives. This technology can be adopted and/or used by NASA missions. As the project continues to develop, the systems engineers will become more involved as they provide documentation and support for the project. They will also make sure that the final project can be supported by one of SCaN's communication networks: the Deep Space Network, the Near Earth Network, and the Space Network.
The most important task that systems engineers are responsible for within SCaN is overseeing the formulation and execution of the future SCaN network architectures. NASA architecture planning is trying to be consistent and align with international planning. SCaN oversees all communications for the Deep Space Network, the Near Earth Network, and the Space Network. SCaN is working to improve international interoperability and integration into a single unified network.
Phase 3 Studies
Space Based Relay Study
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Exploration and Space Communications Division, is leading a study on behalf of the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program to identify future space-based relay communication and navigation architectures that will support NASA missions in the 2022 and beyond timeframe.
SCaN ADD Executive Summary
The SCaN Integrated Network Architecture Definition Document (ADD) provides a high-level summary description of the new NASA SCaN integrated network architecture. This document provides an executive overview of the driving requirements and the technical architecture. It also explains how the architecture responds to challenging mission and programmatic requirements and the call for new, enhanced communications capabilities.