Real-time Telemetry, Tracking and Command Systems
We have experience in all aspects of the design, development and deployment of command and control systems for large satellite constellations, including NAVSTAR GPS. Multi-processing and multi-threading techniques have allowed us to deploy robust, time-critical control systems.
Navy Control Centers
The Naval Research Laboratory served as a training and proving ground for Expert Methods’ engineering expertise. Our involvement at Blossom Point, NAVSOC, and Building 660 at Vandenburg AFB has enabled us to explore diverse projects, operations concepts, and missions. The fast-paced and dynamic environment fostered by the Navy Space Program requires engineers capable of making mission-critical decisions, often “on-the-fly.” The solutions and environments to which we contributed were reviewed by the Air Force. They remarked that the Navy control centers had “leap-frogged” the Air Force control centers.
USAF Control Centers
Our team has most recently provided control center solutions and expertise at Schriever AFB, Kirtland AFB, and Cape Canaveral Air Station. Our proudest achievement is our involvement in the multi-phase architecture upgrade for the GPS Operational Control Segment. The long-term Architectural Evolution Plan (AEP) involves migration from legacy systems, around the world, to modern workstations. Throughout the AEP, mission performance could not be affected, and Operations Concepts needed to migrate in a sensible fashion. Our engineering expertise led the team that was awarded “Supplier of the Year” by Lockheed Martin Mission Systems.
Commercial Control Centers
Commercial control centers are typically budget-constrained and investor oriented. This necessitates heightened sensitivity to requirements analysis and interface definition: two areas that can suffer long-term cost/schedule escalation problems when not properly understood. We have been involved in both control center and data acquisition architectures for the commercial sector: Iridium and DataLynx, respectively.
NASA Control Centers
Our staff has been involved in the design, development and maintenance of the Mission Operations Control Center (MSOCC) for NASA. Projects supported included the Shuttle Payload Operations and Control Center Interface Facility (SPIF), Mission Control Center Simulator (MCCSM2), and the International Cometary Explorer (ICE)/Interplanetary Platform (IMP). These systems employ a multi-node client-server architecture to facilitate scaling as support requirements evolve.
Mission Critical Data Processing
We have led the software development for major real-time data processing systems, including command and telemetry systems that include the following capabilities: discrete, block, & string commanding; real-time receipt and functional verification; memory image upload, dump, and verification; supercomm, subcomm and subsubcomm decommutation; and autonomous format switching. Our team has also implemented hot-backup and autonomous fault detection and resolution capabilities in support of mission-critical requirements.
Our staff has participated in several simulation projects of diverse fidelity. Our device driver development typically includes the development of low-fidelity interface simulators. We have also been involved in the development of communication link simulations, enabling the injection of link delays and errors to assist in the training of system operators, as well as the regression testing of the system architecture. We have also participated in the development of medium-fidelity closed-loop telemetry and command simulations.
Our staff has developed rule-based expert systems using several COTS development environments. Delivered systems include a resource allocation and autonomous fault resolution system for GPS, a personnel scheduling system and a diagnostic system for analyzing eddy current measurements, both for the Department of Energy / Naval Reactors Program. This last expert system has been granted a US Patent.
Graphical User Interfaces
Expert Methods recognizes that GUI design and development is more art than science. We have experience at creating mission critical GUI applications that serve as an extension of the user, rather than a constraint.