Exploring Mission Concepts with the  JPL Innovation Foundry A-Team Exploring Mission Concepts with the  JPL Innovation Foundry A-Team


The JPL Innovation Foundry has established a new approach for exploring, developing, and evaluating early concepts called the A-Team. The A-Team combines innovative collaborative methods with subject matter expertise and analysis tools to help mature mission concepts. Science, implementation, and programmatic elements are all considered during an A-Team study.

Methods are grouped by Concept Maturity Level (CML), from 1 through 3, including idea generation and capture (CML 1), initial feasibility assessment (CML 2), and trade space exploration (CML 3). Methods used for each CML are presented, and the key team roles are described from two points of view: innovative methods and technical expertise. A-Team roles for providing innovative methods include the facilitator, study lead, and assistant study lead. A-Team roles for providing technical expertise include the architect, lead systems engineer, and integration engineer. In addition to these key roles, each A-Team study is uniquely staffed to match the study topic and scope including subject matter experts, scientists, technologists, flight and instrument systems engineers, and program managers as needed.

Advanced analysis and collaborative engineering tools (e.g. cost, science traceability, mission design, knowledge capture, study and analysis support infrastructure) are also under development for use in A-Team studies and will be discussed briefly. The A-Team facilities provide a constructive environment for innovative ideas from all aspects of mission formulation to eliminate isolated studies and come together early in the development cycle when they can provide the biggest impact. This talk provides an overview of the A-Team, its study processes, roles, methods, tools and facilities.

No registration is required for this free lecture. Seating is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.

Speaker's Biography:

John Ziemer is the Concept Innovation Methods Chief in the JPL Innovation Foundry where he leads the A-Team, a group of experts from a diverse background that develop new concept ideas, assess feasibility, and explore the implementation trade space. John's educational background includes undergraduate work in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan and a PhD in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University specializing in plasma science and electric propulsion. John began work at JPL in 2000 as a technologist developing new micro-thrusters for small spacecraft and fine-pointing of larger observatories. He is currently the Cognizant Engineer and Payload Systems Engineer for the Space Technology 7 Disturbance Reduction Mission that will launch in mid-2015, demonstrating a new colloid thruster technology. John began working on new concept creation and design at JPL as part of and eventually leading Team Eureka in 2009. He joined the Foundry in mid-2012 where he has led the development of the A-Team through it's first 50+ studies.