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Metecs

Leadership

The METECS Team is led by some of the most experienced and dedicated individuals within the aerospace community, many of whom were pioneers of the tools utilized today within NASA's Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division (SR&SD).

John MacLean, P.E.

John MacLean, P.E.

Current Position:

President

Special Recognition:

NASA Certificate of Recognition, Outstanding Performance and Achievement Recognition Award, SR&SD Superior Assistance Award

Education:

Diploma Engineering, BS Electrical Engineering, MS Electrical Engineering

Experience:

Mr. MacLean has almost 20 years of experience with robotics, avionics integration, simulation development, and analysis including nine years of direct support to JSC. As an employee of SPAR Aerospace in Brampton, Ontario he worked in the Systems Engineering group to generate MSS flight software control system requirements. He prototyped motion control algorithms and simulation models for the SSRMS and SPDM and later integrated flight software into the simulations to verify system performance. He was project lead for the SSRMS control system development group, the Manipulator Development and Simulation Facility, and the Control Systems Simulation group where he was responsible for performance verification of the SSRMS. At SPAR’s office in Houston (later Dynacs), he was the MSS technical liaison to the NASA ISS avionics integration community where he helped coordinate troubleshooting between international flight software development groups and maintained and integrated MSS avionics simulations and avionics flight hardware into NASA facilities such as the ISS Software Integration Lab, the ISS Software Verification Facility, and the Space Station Processing Facility. He provided ongoing simulation, avionics and systems integration troubleshooting support for activities such as Hardware/Software Integration Lab testing, MSS End-to-End Video Tests, C&DH Software Verification testing, and ISS Multi-Element Integrated Testing (MEIT) at KSC. He was technical lead of the Material Review Board during MEIT risk reduction testing in Canada where the MSS flight hardware was integrated with the ISS Command & Data Handling (C&DH) system for the first time. He was also an MSS Test Conductor during MEIT tests at KSC responsible for approving all activity related to Canadian flight hardware and avionics test equipment. Mr. MacLean’s support to NASA's Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division (SR&SD) has included assistance in integrating SSRMS flight software into the Trick simulation environment, integration of the Trick SSRMS simulation model into the Marshall hardware-in-the-loop 6-DOF platform, prototyping of an SPDM simulation in Trick, and investigation of dynamics simulation issues in Trick. He has also performed development, testing, and validation of simulation models using Trick, prototyping of methodologies for integration of contact dynamics models with flexible payload simulations, and analysis and development of on-orbit berthing operations.


Angela Reeves

Angela Reeves

Current Position:

Dynamics Simulation Engineer, Deputy Program Manager

Special Recognition:

SR&SD Superior Assistance Award and 2 SR&SD Elite Team Awards

Education:

BS Aerospace Engineering

Experience:

Angela Reeves has over 8 years of experience at METECS as a Dynamics Simulation Engineer. Her specialties include Systems Engineering, Integration, Testing, Simulation, Robotics, and 3D Graphics. As a student at the University of Texas (UT), Angela worked on the pilot project for the Johnson Space Center (JSC)/UT Trick Initiative where she led a 6-person team to model, simulate, and visualize a 6 degree of freedom satellite rendezvous scenario. She also developed the interface for real-time data transfer between JSC's simulation software, Trick, and UT’s Visualization Lab software. Since joining METECS, Angela has supported simulation development related to ISS robotics, docking, and berthing contact models and mechanisms. She has also contributed to graphics development using NASA tools such as DOUG and EDGE. Additionally, Angela successfully implemented a remote training capability for the Robotics On-Board Trainer (ROBoT), which included obtaining permission from the Computer Resources Control Panel (CRCP) to plug ROBoT into the ISS Local Area Network (LAN). Her role on this project included an initial assessment, requirements planning, integration testing in the Station Support Computer (SSC) and Joint Station LAN (JSL) Labs, and software certification. An early prototype she created of the remote training capability proved to be so useful that it was immediately implemented in the Dynamics Skills Trainers (DSTs) at JSC and in Russia. Angela also performed a Systems Engineering role for Training Systems for the 21st Century (TS21) where she was instrumental in model design, software architecture, and interface definitions for the Robotics, Dynamics, Mechanisms, Environment, and Graphics subsystems. Additionally, she has served in multiple integration management roles for TS21, including scheduling, planning, developing use cases, defining requirements, integrating, and testing. Angela currently serves as the Deputy Program Manager for the NASA JSC RVGSS contract. In this capacity she works directly with the Program Manager to manage personnel and resources, program budget, subcontracts, change orders, and issue resolution.


Pat McCartney, P.E.

Pat McCartney, P.E.

Current Position:

Senior Systems Engineer

Special Recognition:

NASA Silver Snoopy Award for Dynamic Skills Trainer (DST), JSC Exceptional Software Award for the Trick Simulation Environment, JSC Superior Achievement Awards for the ISS SAFER and Robotics On-Board Crew Trainers, NASA Certificate of Recognition for Trick, NASA Group Achievement Award for PC-based simulation facility migration, Several SR&SD Excellence and Elite Team Awards for flight project management, simulation development, and flight anomaly analysis

Education:

BS Mechanical Engineering, MBA Business Administration

Experience:

Mr. McCartney has over 25 years experience in developing software solutions for complex engineering problems both as a civil servant and a contractor at JSC. His specialties include mechanical engineering, dynamics analysis, systems engineering and integration, simulation and software development, web-based application development, and project management. Patrick began at NASA and helped revolutionize how simulations were developed and utilized for engineering analysis and training for space applications. Patrick was an integral member of the Trick simulation environment development team and original designer and developer of the Dynamics Skills Trainer (DST) which continues to provide operator and crew training capabilities in facilities such as the SES and the VR lab. He then applied this experience to flight systems and developed a series of real-time training simulators that are actively used on-board the International Space Station. Recently, Patrick sought to achieve a similar paradigm shift in the field of testing and automation by developing mREST, an architectural standard and software suite that provides a common web-based interface for any conceivable piece of hardware and/or software element.


Frank Graffagnino

Frank Graffagnino

Current Position:

Lead Graphics Engineer

Special Recognition:

NASA Silver Snoopy Award, SR&SD Superior Assistance Award. Superior Assistance Award for innovative approaches to updating the MRTAS simulation, JSC Certificate of Appreciation for MER EVR console support, Seven SR&SD Elite Team Awards, JSC Group Achievement Award for DOUG

Education:

BS Electrical Engineering

Experience:

Mr. Graffagnino has supported JSC as a contractor for the past 15 years in the areas of robotics and simulation. His specialties include electrical engineering, simulation development, web-based application development and simulation graphics development and integration. He has prototyped new MSS simulation model capabilities in the Trick simulation environment including automatic testing software to improve efficiency of MSS simulation model development and verification. He was responsible for development of the first Trick environment interface for the Canadian SPDM simulation model, and was a key contributor to rapid development of Degraded Joint Operations capability in the Trick SSRMS simulation model. He has provided real-time engineering support for ISS robotics operations in Houston’s mission control on the extra-vehicular robotics console position of the Mission Evaluation Room. As COTR at MacDonald Dettwiler Associates, the manufacturers of the MSS and Shuttle robotics systems, Mr. Graffagnino oversaw development of a new sensor system of strain gauges for the SRMS (WSGIS) including installation of sensor hardware on the SRMS and testing of the integrated system at KSC. He has been a significant contributor to development of simulation models for DST, working closely with the SR&SD VR lab in supporting model development and sessions with the crew. He supports development, distribution, scene generation, and customer support of a new engineering graphics product, EDGE, based on integration of DOUG software with simulation tools, communication libraries, graphics models, and web-based documentation. This task includes providing maintenance and upgrades of the DOUG software package to support engineering analysis and to provide mission specific scene databases for engineering analysis. Mr. Graffagnino also served as the lead for the graphics subsystem of NASA's new Training Systems for the 21st Century (TS21) which utilized DOUG Graphics and TRICK interface models to visualize the simulation across the entire facility, and also across connected HLA federate simulations.


Ken Huffman, PhD

Ken Huffman

Current Position:

Senior Systems Engineer, Manager of R&D and Business Development

Special Recognition:

Silver Snoopy Award for Charlotte, Two JSC Exceptional Software Awards, Two NASA Certificates of Recognition for DSP and DOUG, Six JSC Group Achievement Awards, Six SR&SD Elite Team Awards

Education:

BS, MS, PhD Mechanical Engineering

Experience:

Dr. Huffman has over 25 years of experience in the fields of simulation, dynamics, controls, robotics, systems integration, 3D graphics, avionics, and virtual training systems.  He has been with METECS since 2011 where he currently serves as manager of Research and Development and Business Development.  In addition to these efforts, Dr. Huffman provides technical support to multiple projects including the "Training System for the 21st Century" and "Digital Astronaut Project" at JSC, the "General Mission Analysis Tool" at GSFC, and heavy equipment simulators for multiple commercial customers.  Prior to joining METECS, Dr. Huffman was with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) where he served in multiple capacities including proposal manager, project manager, developer, and consultant on numerous government and commercial projects related to simulation and training. Specifically, Dr. Huffman was the lead developer and project manager on a line of construction equipment training simulators developed in cooperation with John Deere Construction and Forestry. Additionally, he served as project manager and developer on training simulators for aircraft engine maintenance, telecommunication equipment maintenance, and other applications. Due to the disparate requirements of these projects, Dr. Huffman is well versed in a wide variety of proprietary and commercial-off-the-shelf solutions to dynamics, 3D graphics, contact dynamics, and simulation architecture. Prior to his engagement at SwRI (1995-2006), Dr. Huffman supported the Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division (SR&SD) at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Dr. Huffman was instrumental in the developing the tools, as well as the training and analysis simulations used throughout JSC. Specifically, he designed and developed the “moving object model” which simulated dynamics, contact dynamics, and payload management in TRICK based robotic and EVA training simulations. Additionally, Dr. Huffman re-engineered and rebuilt Charlotte, the Virtual Reality Lab (VR Lab) mass-handling robot and simulation to include contact dynamics, robotic hand offs, and have a more robust hardware design. He was also project lead for the Dynamic Skills Trainer (DST) which provided instructor lead and autonomous astronaut training for Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), and Proximity Operations (PROX OPS) students. Other VR Lab activities included augmenting the Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) package with a flight software based SRMS plugin, integrating the TRICK dynamic SRMS simulation with VR Lab training, and designing and operating numerous specialized training simulations driven by unplanned and off-nominal flight operations. Dr. Huffman was also the Principal Investigator on a Phase II SBIR which developed a prototype cable driven linear actuator for use in full-flight simulator motion platforms. While performing graduate studies at the University of California, Davis (1989-1995), Dr. Huffman designed and developed a virtual reality bobsled simulator for the United States Bobsled Team. This simulator utilized parameterized dynamics to accurately simulate the bobsled trajectory in response to driver inputs. This response drove an immersive 3D graphics scene enclosed in a motion based cockpit. The simulator was used for training at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and in preparation for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Norway.

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