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Avionics, Software and Cybersecurity Subcommittee

Subcommittee Members

Dr. Alex Levis - Chair
George Mason University
ECE Department
MS 1G5
Fairfax, VA 22030

Mr. Richard McGinnis - Executive Secretary
NASA Headquarters
300 E Street, SW
Mail Suite 7H37
Washington, DC 20546

Dr. Matthew Barry
16911 Cottonwood Way
Houston, TX 77059

Prof. Matt Bishop
University of California – Davis
Dept. of Computer Science
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Ms. Melissa (Penny) Chase
MITRE Corporation
Information Technology Center
202 Burlington Road
Bedford, MA 01730

Dr. Gregory Frazier
3865 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 600
Arlington, VA 22203

Prof. Janos Sztipanovits
Vanderbilt University
VU Station B 351829
Nashville, TN 37235-1829

Mr. Jay Turner
Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Lab
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, Maryland 20723

Mr. Kurt Wallnau
Software Engineering Institute
4500 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, VA 15213-2612

The Avionics, Software and Cybersecurity Subcommittee (ASCS) is a standing subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council's Information Technology Infrastructure Committee, supporting the advisory needs of the NASA Administrator, the NASA Chief Information Officer, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and other NASA Mission Directorates, as required. The Subcommittee will review and assess NASA's approach, progress, vulnerabilities, and risk mitigation plans for its software and avionics systems and will advise NASA on a wide range of cybersecurity issues. An important element of the Subcommittee’s efforts will be to assess the vulnerabilities of NASA's spaceflight systems and of the processes for their development and operation from a cybersecurity perspective.

Per NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 1150.11, “NASA advisory committees operate in a manner fully consistent with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)…” However, “Subcommittees . . . of NASA advisory committees that may not be subject to the FACA will be established and managed under procedures that ensure the same spirit of openness and public accountability that is embodied in the FACA.” Due to the proprietary nature of hardware and software designs and the sensitivity of national security planning and operations, the ASCS will conduct non-FACA fact-finding meetings that are not open to the public, the results of which will be briefed to the parent Information Technology Infrastructure Committee in its public or non-public meeting, as appropriate. The Information Technology Infrastructure Committee may formulate observations and draft recommendations for consideration by the Council. All information presented at the Council public meetings will unclassified.


The membership of the Subcommittee will consist of leading engineers and information technology specialists with relevant expertise drawn from industry, academia, independent researchers and Government institutions. The Council Chair will consult with the NASA CIO, the relevant NASA Mission Directorates, and the Information Technology Infrastructure Committee Chair in making Subcommittee Chair and membership recommendations to the NASA Administrator. The Administrator, in consultation with the Council Chair, will formally appoint the Chair and members of the Subcommittee. Appointments generally will be for a two-year term, with re-appointment and replacement at the discretion of the Administrator, made in consultation with the Council Chair and the parties noted above, as appropriate. A Vice-Chair will be selected from among the Subcommittee members by the Subcommittee Chair, in consultation with the Chair of the Council’s Information Technology Infrastructure Committee.


The Subcommittee will meet two to four times a year, usually in advance of the normal quarterly Council and Information Technology Infrastructure Committee meetings. Subcommittee meeting agendas will be coordinated with the Chair of the Information Technology Infrastructure Committee through the Executive Secretary of that Committee and will be responsive to requests from the Administrator, the Council Chair and Council Executive Director, the NASA CIO, and the relevant NASA Mission Directorates.


The Subcommittee will report to the Council via the Council's Information Technology Infrastructure Committee. Records of Subcommittee meetings, including agendas, lists of attendees, minutes and presentations will be kept by the Subcommittee's Executive Secretary for reference by Subcommittee and Information Technology Infrastructure Committee members, the Council Chair and Council Executive Director..


The Executive Secretary of the Subcommittee will be appointed by the NASA CIO, in consultation with the Subcommittee Chair, the Committee Chair and Council Chair, and following coordination with the Council Executive Director. The Executive Secretary of the Subcommittee will work with the Executive Secretary of the Information Technology Infrastructure Committee to coordinate meetings, agendas, speakers, etc. for Subcommittee meetings. Staff support and travel funds for Subcommittee members will be provided by the NASA Office of the CIO. NASA Mission Directorates may provide support for specific activities as appropriate.


The Subcommittee Terms of Reference will be evaluated every two years and may be renewed by the Administrator. If the Council’s Charter expires, the Subcommittee will terminate, as well as its parent Committee, the Information Technology Infrastructure Committee. The Subcommittee may be terminated at the discretion of the NASA Administrator. If the Subcommittee terminates, all appointments to it also terminate.