NASA Honors Honeywell Team with Software of the Year Award

December 7, 2015 | Author: Kevin Morrill

When I learned my team was chosen to receive NASA’s prestigious Software of the Year award for our work on the Orion Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) flight software program, I was surprised and excited. To be recognized with a national award of this caliber is remarkable and, frankly, the highlight of my 28-year career at Honeywell. 

For more than five years I have led Honeywell’s Absolute Navigation (ANAV) flight software team. This group of professionals includes over 20 team members from Lockheed Martin, NASA’s Johnson Space Center and four Honeywell sites. 

The award presentation took place Nov. 12 at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. NASA acknowledged our team’s outstanding software development and the key members who set high standards for developing software that was creative, usable, transferable and possessed inherent quality. 

The Software of the Year award recognized all parts of the GN&C Flight Software, including the absolute navigation component, which was developed by Honeywell. This component makes up about 70 percent of the total GN&C flight software. Its purpose is to maintain the space vehicle’s current inertial navigation state including position, velocity and attitude. It also provides flight control data, including angular rate, delta velocity and summed delta velocity for the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle. 

Being part of the Orion spacecraft program is thrilling, but it takes many conscientious and dedicated people to make it successful. As a team, we overcame some unique challenges including working across several companies, several Honeywell sites and several time zones. Thankfully, our team members were not only extremely talented but they are all consummate professionals who did high-quality work and collaborated very well to assure the job was done right.

With team members located at various sites across the U.S., we had to develop a collaborative work process to understand and assure all pieces of the program worked together properly. The team also developed a state-of-the-art model-based software engineering approach that integrated systems analysis and software engineering activities essential to the product development process. This provided a seamless workflow transitioning algorithm design to code to test. This process was used across all GN&C software product development teams at Lockheed Martin and NASA’s Johnson Space Center to develop the other GN&C software components as well.

For the ANAV flight software team, it is incredibly gratifying to be recognized for our efforts and to have been a part of the successful Orion flight test last December. We look forward to watching the evolution of the Orion program and being a part of its history. 

Kevin Morrill

Kevin Morrill

Kevin Morrill is a Staff Software Engineer with the Sensors, Guidance & Navigation Center of Excellence. Morrill joined Honeywell in 1988. Morrill developed the software for Aerospace-Clearwater’s first Ring Laser Gyro system, the Inertial Navigation Unit, which navigated the Centaur upper stage rocket. He was also a software systems engineer for the Space Station program. More recently, he has served in multiple technical leadership roles as the Software Project Engineer for the Ballistic Missile Range Safety System, NASA’s Orion Absolute Navigation and the Redundant Inertial Navigation Unit for NASA’s new Space Launch System. Morrill holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Illinois. He lives in Clearwater, Fla. with his wife and three children.

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