Spacecraft Assembly, Integration and Test

COURSE NO.: 5078


This two-day Spacecraft Assembly, Integration and Test (AI&T) course emphasizes best practices in spacecraft AI&T
processes, flow and test planning. Additional focus is on thermal, vacuum, shock, and vibration testing. The discussion
includes integration strategies, lessons learned, mistakes to look for and precautions to take. The material addresses
technical oversight and program management aspects of AI&T.  Management areas of concern, such as cost, schedule and
risk are included.


Include extensive notes and reference materials.


This course is intended for Project Managers, Mission System, Spacecraft System and Payload System Engineers, Principal
Investigators, and future integration engineers, managers and supervisors of integration engineering staff. The focus is
primarily on those who have never managed or experienced significant involvement in a launch vehicle payload and mission
integration process including the management and coordination of the ground operations involved in a launch campaign.


How to recognize, define, tailor and successfully implement the critical requirements and limitations of the individual
launch vehicle and spacecraft payload systems into a working launch system. How to effectively implement mechanical,
electrical, communication and separating interfaces and systems. Fairing doors, payload physical access, contamination
control techniques. Effectively using the Mission Planners Guides. Interacting with the range, payload and launch vehicle
data deliverables and documents, effective use of pathfinders, payload contamination control, ground communications,
ground processing. Conduct of the Mission Integration and Ground Operation Working Group meetings, critical milestones
and events, schedules, processing and the launch campaign.


    1.0 Introduction

    • Course Objectives; AI&T Overview; Terms and Acronyms

    2.0 Roles and Responsibilities During AI&T Stages

    • Project Management and Organization; Developing a Logical Decision flow;  Lead Engineers; IT Lead; IT
      Deputy; Transfer of Responsibilities during AI&T; Public Affairs

    3.0 Schedules, Budgets and Planning

    • Developing a Logical Integration and Test Flow; Project Phases; IT Schedules and Purpose; Developing
      Logical IT and Process Flow; Schedule Management Techniques and Tools; Staff Resource Management;
      Staying on Schedule and Managing Schedule Margin; Unplanned Events, Work-Arounds, Schedule Recovery;
      Developing Realistic Test Schedules and Test Durations; Developing a Statement of Work (SOW) for AI&T

    4.0 Meetings and Reviews

    • Developing Useful Meeting Objectives and Goals; Daily Coordination Meetings- Get the most out of them;
      Efficient Use of Staff Resources; Pre-Ship, Pre-Integration and Pre-Test Reviews; Post Test Reviews

    5.0 Quality, Safety and Mission Assurance

    • Anomaly Reporting and Resolution Process; Failures and Recovery Processes;      Documentation and
      Reporting; Requirements and Verification; Problem/Failure  Reporting and Review

    6.0 AI&T Facilities

    • Facility Manager and Responsibilities; Processing Facility Requirements Document; Certifications and
      Maintenance Records

     7.0 Subsystems Hardware Integration

    • Integrating Subsystems Overview; Electrical Integration Overview; G&C Subsystem Integration; Propulsion
      System Integration

    8.0 Travel, Training, Shipping and Logistics

    • Range Badges and Access; Ownership and Responsibilities; Transportation and Logistics; Staff Training

    9.0 Procedures

    • Hazardous Procedures; Electrical Procedures; Procedures and Lessons Learned

    10.0 Testing

    • Environmental Testing Overview and Flow; MGSE and EGSE Testing; Mechanical Systems Level Testing
      Overview; Vibration, Acoustic and Shock Testing; Re-Testing; Thermal Vacuum Testing; Fit Checks Tests;
      Mission Simulation; Flight and Non-Flight Hardware Testing

    11.0 Launch and Early Operations

    • Preparing the AI&T Team for Launch and Early Operations; Launch Rehearsals; Console Discipline, Voice
      Checks and Communications; Development of the Launch

    12.0 Wrap-Up


    Steven R. Vernon has over 25 years of experience primarily focused on launch vehicle payload integration,  and
    spacecraft mechanical system and mechanisms design, assembly, test and launch operations.  He has lead and
    managed payload-to-launch vehicle integration efforts and launch campaigns on nuclear and conventional powered
    spacecraft and payload-supplied upper stages successfully launched from both the US Eastern and Western Ranges.
    Mr. Vernon has authored or co-authored more than 20 formal publications covering launch vehicle payload
    integration, spacecraft mechanical systems, spacecraft structures and mechanisms. He is the recipient of several
    NASA and Department of Defense Group Achievement and Civilian Contractor awards and has participated in
    Standing Review Boards for several NASA inter-planetary and near-Earth missions.


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