Graduates help keep NASA space crew safe
by Laura Dahl
Goodwell- Oklahoma Panhandle State University graduates Carl Huddleston and David Montoya were recognized as United Space Alliance (USA) Employees of the Month for May 2005. The pair was honored for outstanding and quick resolution of a software problem that directly impacted emergency procedures on the International Space Station (ISS).
When a Portable Computer System (PCS) display problem on the ISS was identified, it was important that software be developed to avoid the possibility of the ISS crew being unable to access certain displays during an emergency situation. Huddleston and Montoya came to the rescue by quickly developing a short-term patch for NASA and soon followed with a certified software patch for uplink to the ISS. The software provided the ISS crew the ability to manually recover from a stalled display assembly and/or a loss of attitude control condition. Without the patch, members of the ISS Program Office were reluctant to perform a scheduled software transition, which would mean delaying implementation of software changes that cured hundreds of ISS program discrepancies. The pair's timely response enabled the ISS to continue operating safely and effectively.
The NASA PCS Project Lead, David Swartwout, said the following about this tremendous effort. “You came together and delivered what I would consider to be the best PCS software release ever on a shortened schedule. To top all of that off, you have the next software release right on its heels, which is shaping up to be another great package. This effort was an excellent example of their goal of achieving excellent customer satisfaction and program performance.”
Huddleston performs all duties involved with software integration on behalf of the PCS project and is a member of the Software Integration Team. He is also responsible for the interface with external NASA, USA, Lockheed Martin and Boeing organizations by coordinating activities and maintaining software delivery and schedules. As Station Program Note Responsible Engineer for PCS, he also tracks violations of software requirements and idiosyncrasies for the ISS, troubleshoots problems and develops solutions and helps resolve issues in a timely manner for engineers, astronauts, and customers. According to Brett Elliott, USA Technical Lead of the PCS Software group, “Carl's experience in dealing with NASA, Boeing and USA proved helpful during this time critical situation, and his attention to detail and ability to cut through red tape made resolving this problem seem routine.”
Working in a team environment, Montoya serves as a member of the PCS Software Support Staff. He assists with diverse programming tasks under tight deadlines in direct support of Boeing customers. He also adapts standard analysis, design, programming and administration techniques to specific situations, and participates in analyzing, designing, coding, inspecting, testing, troubleshooting, documenting and delivering PCS Flight software products in support of the Laptop Organization. Elliott said, “David was the first person to notice this issue and bring it to our attention. Realizing the importance of the problem, he alerted the development team immediately which gave them much needed extra time to resolve the issue. In this industry, good communicators are hard to find. Lucky for us, we found one in David.”
OPSU is proud of Carl and David and their hard work in America's space program. These two outstanding graduates prove it's not the size of the school, but the quality of education received - the standard of education OPSU has provided the High Plains region for nearly 100 years.
Boise City News