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GSAW 2017 Working Groups

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Session 11A: Cloud Computing for Ground Systems VII

Leads: Ramesh Rangachar and Craig Lee, The Aerospace Corporation

The main objective of the working group is to advocate for the adoption of cloud computing standards in the implementation of satellite-based ground systems.  The Cloud Reference Model and Roadmap, produced by Aerospace, will be used to frame the discussion, while specific mission requirements will be used to prioritize initial steps. The working group will focus on:

  • State of the art in cloud computing and ground systems technologies;
  • Cloud reference models and roadmaps;
  • Cloud-based ground systems;
  • Cloud-related technologies such as DevOps and Big Data
  • Cloud security, standards, and compliance;
  • Cloud-based Acquisition Issues and Strategies;
  • Cloud computing economics; and
  • Cloud performance management.

This working group will consist of two parts. Part 1 will include presentations, case studies, and demonstrations related to cloud computing for satellite-based ground systems. Part 2 will be a town hall meeting on cloud computing for satellite-based ground systems. This will include a moderated discussion on the focus issues mentioned above, featuring panel of industry experts.

Presenters, panelists, and participants will include ground systems hardware/software providers, integrators and operators, cloud solutions providers, and others interested in satellite-based ground systems and cloud computing.


Session 11B: Realizing the Look Beyond the Horizon

Lead: Donald Sather, The Aerospace Corporation

A look beyond the horizon requires more than just a vision & technology, it must eventually be implemented to be realized. For organizations that fly more than one satellite one can envision a transition from individual stovepipe programs to an enterprise which fosters at the least ground hardware and data sharing and perhaps complete interoperability across its programs. This shift requires challenges to current CONOPS, training, culture, organization/staffing, acquisition strategies, funding, governance, and even the corporate business models of vendors. In short, it is a reinvention of the ground elements of a space system from concept development to operations. Each of these changes are challenging individually but collectively may seem too daunting for some to start. This workshop will host a panel from various organizations, including commercial, which will present what their future vision is and progress to date with an emphasis on how they are addressing the aforementioned challenges including lessons learned. The goal of the working group will be to understand what is going on across organizations in terms of transition and offer suggestions to help address the challenges transition beyond the horizon brings.


Session 11C: Enabling Game-Changing Innovation Through Model-Based Engineering

Leads: Ryan Noguchi and Robert Pettit IV, The Aerospace Corporation

In this Working Group Session, we hope to foster a mutually beneficial discussion of the evolving practice of Model-Based Systems Engineering and Model-Based Software Engineering. In keeping with this year’s GSAW theme, we propose to focus the discussion along three principal vectors:

  1. Sharing lessons learned and success stories from the community of MBSE practitioners;
  2. Discussing enablers for game-changing innovation that MBSE offers; and,
  3. Identifying specific areas for near-term collaboration by the GSAW community to advance the state of the practice of MBSE for ground system acquisition and operations.

In previous GSAW working group sessions on MBSE, we have found that there is considerable interest in first-hand accounts of the demonstrated value of MBSE to real programs and enterprises, particularly among those who are not day-to-day practitioners of MBSE. Those success stories—particularly within our domain of interest—go a long way toward providing stakeholders with the confidence to proceed with MBSE pilot and transition programs to take advantage of those demonstrated benefits.

Last year’s GSAW theme and MBSE working group session theme focused on improving organizational agility to support rapid change, both internally and externally driven. This year, we hope to discuss the ways in which MBSE can facilitate substantive innovation. A mature MBSE capability may enable an organization to more boldly pursue innovative system or software architectures by providing modeling methods that promote rapid prototyping and rapid verification of requirement and design closure through virtual integration and testing. By enabling quicker design iterations, a greater number of more aggressively innovative strategies might be explored in a shorter period of time. We would like to hear from practitioners who have successfully implemented this sort of approach, and also understand where there may be unanticipated pitfalls.

In an MBSE workshop sponsored by the Aerospace Corporation in August 2016, the assembled community of MBSE practitioners and stakeholders in the domain of Government space system acquirers discussed potential avenues for collaboration to advance the state of the practice of MBSE. We would like to explore in more detail the types of collaborations that GSAW MBSE practitioners feel are the most important to pursue in the near term, and begin the process of planning those collaborative efforts at GSAW 2017. Based on the August workshop participation and feedback, there is a lot of interest to sustain this collaboration throughout the year between GSAW events.


Session 11D: Cost Estimation IV for Next-Generation Ground Systems

Leads: Jim Alstad and Barry Boehm, University of Southern California

In today’s cyber-physical-human world, we need to model and estimate single system development, existing system and software upgrades, development of new system of systems capabilities while at the same time exploring alternatives in the solution space for affordability and expedited/rapid delivery of solutions. Often initial system development is not the total cost driver for total ownership costs. Manufacturing, maintenance, sustainment and retirement/disposal costs can often overshadow development costs and a lack of investment in flexibility and affordability can mean a shorter life for the system and a corresponding reduction in the return on investment for the initial development costs.

USC, The Aerospace Corporation, USAF/SMC, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Naval Postgraduate School are collaborating in developing a beyond-the-horizon cost model for next-generation space and ground systems.  This model, known as COSATMO, will immediately address system cost and schedule; it will also benefit risk management by providing a baseline to which actual costs can be compared during system development.

The objective of the COSATMO research is to build on current capabilities in existing cost models and to fill gaps in the capabilities of our current estimating tools.  Some of the planned objectives of the COSATMO effort are to be able to perform:

  • Cost model analysis to evaluate tradeoffs between affordability, quality, security, flexibility, performance and other goals;
  • Cost modeling and estimation to support analysis of alternatives; and
  • Return on investment of early feasibility assessments.

In 2014, this workshop advanced development of COSATMO in ground station cost estimation.  We identified five ground station cost categories and their size drivers and other cost drivers.  In 2015, we presented and further developed COSYSMO 3.0, a systems engineering cost model applicable to ground stations; some participants brought in information on actual projects, and we revised our model through having those participants interactively work through making an estimate.  In 2016, we (with Marilee Wheaton) led an interactive session that reviewed and improved a COSYSMO 3.0 data collection form.

This year, the workshop will focus on exercising a mature, updated COSYSMO 3.0 model, with participants being able to provide project parameters, see predicted costs from the model, and compare to their actual costs.  (The model will be enacted in a spreadsheet, allowing each participant to perform their COSYSMO 3.0 estimates during the workshop; participants will be able to take the model/spreadsheet with them.)  Additionally, participants will be able to provide input to the model and to the data collection forms (updated as a result of last year’s session).

One result of the workshop will be to provide important input to the nearly-final COSYSMO 3.0 model, a model that has already shown its value in ground station cost estimation.


Session 11E: Adopting Agile Ground Software Development

Lead: Supannika Mobasser, The Aerospace Corporation

To look beyond the horizon and to embrace the rapid rate of change of the ground software system development, it is crucial to be flexible, resilient, and robust. Aerospace and defense contractors started to adopt agile principles and manifesto. Meanwhile, in the government sector, several programs have gradually started to embrace agile methods. However, there is a big challenge to use agile as it is used in commercial software-intensive industry. This working group will provide an opportunity for agile practitioners to share their experiences and learn from others on the topics on challenges and solutions of agile acquisition processes. The format of the working group will be a combination of presentations, case studies, and interactive discussion focusing on different aspects of agile adoption on ground software system development.


Session 11F: Working Together to Improve Resiliency through Cybersecurity

Leads: Sky Troyer and Scott Niebuhr, The Aerospace Corporation

Organizations are developing and implementing enterprise cybersecurity solutions and security monitoring services for space missions. This working group will serve as a platform to introduce some of the current efforts that are underway and help to promote collaboration with the goal of increasing cyber resiliency. This working group will include presentations and or demonstrations of various efforts; followed by a moderated discussion on the challenges and suggestions to address the cybersecurity issues associated with the Space domain.  This working group will include participants from the civil, commercial, defense and intelligence communities.