Modeling Constellation Virtual Missions Using the Vdot Process Management Tool

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22 Aug 2013 Virtual Integration Platform

The authors have identified a software tool suite that will support NASA’s Virtual Mission (VM) effort. This is accomplished by transforming a spreadsheet database of mission events, task inputs and outputs, timelines, and organizations into process visualization tools and a Vdot process management model that includes embedded analysis software as well as requirements and information related to data manipulation and transfer. This paper describes the progress to date, and the application of the Virtual Mission to not only Constellation but to other architectures, and the pertinence to other aerospace applications. Vdot’s intuitive visual interface brings VMs to life by turning static, paper-based processes into active, electronic processes that can be deployed, executed, managed, verified, and continuously improved. A VM can be executed using a computer-based, human-in-the-loop, real-time format, under the direction and control of the NASA VM Manager. Engineers in the various disciplines will not have to be Vdot-proficient but rather can fill out on-line, Excel-type databases with the mission information discussed above. The author’s tool suite converts this database into several process visualization tools for review and into Microsoft Project, which can be imported directly into Vdot. Many tools can be embedded directly into Vdot, and when the necessary data/information is received from a preceding task, the analysis can be initiated automatically. Other NASA analysis tools are too complex for this process but Vdot automatically notifies the tool user that the data has been received and analysis can begin. The VM can be simulated from end-to-end using the author’s tool suite. The planned approach for the Vdot-based process simulation is to generate the process model from a database; other advantages of this semi-automated approach are the participants can be geographically remote and after refining the process models via the human-in-the-loop simulation, the system can evolve into a process management server for the actual process.


Roger Herdy - Qualis Corporation, Jacobs ESTS Group, Huntsville, AL Daniel O’Neil - NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL Ian Sturken - NASA Ames Research Center, Moffitt Field, CA Michael Nix - Qualis Corporation, Jacobs ESTS Group, Huntsville, AL Damian Yañez - ESI Group, St. Louis, MO

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