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NASA Honors Stardog For Artemis Flight Software Assessment App

As part of the Concourse Development Team, Knowledge Graph Provider awarded Group Achievement for its ground-breaking application in support of Artemis I certification

Stardog, the leading Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG) technology platform provider, announced that a joint NASA and Stardog team was presented the 2021 Ames Honor Award. The acknowledgement was given to Stardog and the collective team for being a critical enabler to the development of “Concourse”, an innovative application that facilitates end-to-end integrated avionics software assessments across Exploration Systems Programs in support of Artemis I Orion Spacecraft certification. The group was selected for developing a novel solution that enables systems engineers to conduct complex assessments of critical flight software requirements for Artemis I.

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Taking lessons from the 2019 test flight of Boeing’s Starliner for the Commercial Crew Program, which identified faults in the integrated flight software, NASA’s Exploration Systems Development tasked a cross-program, Integrated Avionics and Software (IAS) team to assess the engineering test data coming from the various groups to indicate whether NASA would experience a similar problem on Artemis I. Led by the Ames Research Center (ARC), the Concourse development team supported the effort by rapidly and iteratively establishing a collaborative information system to conduct, maintain, and evolve the assessment.

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In just six months, the IAS and ARC teams reviewed and categorized 250,000 data objects from 23 different sources, including both structured data from databases and semi-structured data from Excel files. Once complete, they normalized the highly variable data into a unified view, established lines of traceability between datasets, and developed a common schema to support reviews by the enterprise. Using Concourse, the IAS team identified 17 issues that posed threats to the success of Artemis I, while the assessment team no longer had to rely on PowerPoint presentations and 100+ page documents to present their results to organizations across the Artemis effort. More importantly, these impacts can be directly traced back to a key finding by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board which said: “The Space Shuttle Program has a wealth of data tucked away in multiple databases without a convenient way to integrate and use the data for management, engineering, or safety decisions.”

Using Stardog, the IAS team estimated that this data-driven approach served as a force multiplier to the project and was a key enabler of the outcome achieved as the alternative — manually tracking and analyzing the disparate content using documents or spreadsheets — would not have been possible within the resources and timeline. As a result, the unified data source established through Concourse is now being applied to broader efforts, including analyzing hardware interfaces and imagery requirements. Further expansion for Artemis II and beyond is under consideration that would allow the Concourse interface to serve as an assessment environment for cross-program – including Advanced Exploration Systems – design certification.

“That Stardog’s Knowledge Graph Platform has played such an integral part in helping NASA speed time to insight and transform its existing data and analytics infrastructure into a data fabric is very gratifying,” said Kendall Clark, founder and CEO of Stardog. “Weaving together data from internal silos and external sources, Stardog’s Platform helps customers build data fabrics to solve complex problems and create a seamless network of information capable of supporting the entire connected enterprise.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com ]

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