Requirements Development and Management on the Psyche Project

William Hart, Stacey Boland, Tracy Drain, Peter Lai, Karen Lum, David Y. Oh, Benjamin Solish, Steve Snyder, Noah Warner, Ashley Williams, Peter Lord, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


In January 2017, Psyche was one of two mission concepts selected by NASA for flight as part of the 14th Discovery mission competition. The project has been staffing up and maturing the spacecraft, instrument and mission system baseline designs on the path towards a 2022 launch. During much of 2018, the Project has been executing the lifecycle stage called Phase B, 'Preliminary Design and Technology Completion,' one key element of which is the development and management of requirements at various levels. In the case of the Psyche project, this process has been particularly unique for several reasons. The project utilizes a Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis from Space Systems Loral (SSL), a high volume manufacturer of commercial geostationary (GEO) telecom spacecraft based on the 1300 satellite bus. While SSL has an extensive, well-vetted set of requirements based on their very successful Earthorbiting product line, translating that heritage to a deep space science mission required special care. In addition to the differences associated with the deep space environment and longer communication times, new interfaces had to be incorporated. While a substantial portion of the Flight System consists of the SEP Chassis, there were several new interfaces within various subsystems between SSL components and those provided by JPL and other contractors. Managing these interfaces through requirements at a relatively higher level than normally seen on internal or external builds proved challenging. Finally, the Psyche spacecraft plans to host the flight terminal of the Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) technology demonstration, which is itself a separate project with its own requirements that must be flowed down and managed. This paper will present an overview of the requirement development and management process for the Psyche project. It will discuss in detail the various challenges summarized above, the methods and decisions chosen to address them, and evaluate their overall effectiveness at this stage in the project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781538668542
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2019 - Big Sky, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2019Mar 9 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Conference2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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