CSE helps NASA simplify complex systems for Lunar Orbiter

Customer Overview

CSE was assisting the Goddard Space Flight Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. The orbiter represented the space administration’s first return to the moon since the Apollo program ended and was intended to capture high-quality images of the lunar surface including details regarding its composition.

Business Challenge

While aiding with the development of multiple embedded control and manage- ment systems for the craft, the CSE staff was presented with a request by NASA management, which wished to receive ongoing, timely statistics regarding the progress of the mission systems engineering teams. CSE supported several individual projects at any given time, and assembling frequent comprehensive reports would have drawn key staff away from more critical efforts.

Instead, the organization wished to provide the project managers with a more flexible solution that could deliver demand-based reporting, including the latest statistics, without requiring staff intervention.

How CSE Helps

Already aware of the value offered by IBM Rational® DOORS® software to support its requirements and document management efforts, CSE created a custom module within the IBM software that can be attached to each project. This access controlled module, when opened, actively scans all other modules associated with a particular project to gather the most up-to-date statistics available.

On average, the process examines between 50 and 60 project documents in less than three minutes. With these statistics gathered, users can review the progress of the project in numerous customized views that support analysis and reporting efforts.

For more than five years, CSE has used Rational DOORS software to encourage collaboration and communication among its design teams. Currently, the organization is supporting 12 different satellite projects with the application, the largest of these teams comprising roughly 40 engineers.

To simplify associated documentation processes, CSE is also heavily leveraging the IBM Rational Publishing Engine software. This IBM solution helps to automate the generation of CM documentation, mission and module reporting, and publication of the statistics gathered by the Rational DOORS software.

Tangible Business Results

While supporting the design of a new lunar exploration craft, the company needed to provide project managers with up-to-date progress reports without diverting the support of other critical efforts.

A customized implementation of IBM Rational® DOORS® software along with IBM Rational Publishing Engine software delivers an automated reporting solution that documents key project statistics.

CSE now has improved visibility into development efforts, helping to simplify development tasks and encourage alignment with key project goals. Improved reporting also helps to save time.

Customer Success

  • Generates progress reports in less than 20 seconds; the previous processes required around 20 minutes.
  • Helps simplify problem tracking and resolution across multiple systems with greater visibility into project history.
  • Improves traceability for each instrument and system, helping staff to verify that all development goals are met.