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Lockheed Martin - Testing the NASA Space Shuttle

Lockheed Martin

At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Lockheed Space Operations Company services the Space Shuttle fleet. In preparation for each mission, Lockheed engineers subject the orbiter to extensive modification and change-out of many components. This nearly always involves disconnecting wire harnesses, of which there are about 1,000, housing a total of 165,000 pins and 16,000 connectors. Each time a connector is mated, the engineers must verify that every pin is firmly connected and the path is intact. Thousands of tests must be performed which are automatically tracked by the Shuttle Connector Analysis Network (SCAN), a workstation system first implemented in 1989.

Lockheed has since moved SCAN from a proprietary system to a multi vendor client server system. They selected X‑Designer to generate the graphical user interfaces for SCAN for several reasons. Having been originally tied to a proprietary system, Lockheed wanted a true Open Systems solution, devoid of proprietary code, which generated standard code that could be easily updated. In addition it needed to run on VMS and all major UNIX platforms.

"We were in the midst of a multi year effort to rehost our old applications onto a client server network. In this endeavour we needed software tools that would speed and streamline the process of moving our application software from one environment to another," said Len Hendickson of Lockheed's Network Group. "We needed a GUI builder that would meet mission critical performance standards and be able to generate a substantial amount of code quickly."

A team of twelve software engineers used X-Designer to create about 100 screens with easy to use interfaces for monitoring and verifying connector changes.

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