MDA US Systems lower-cost, full-functionality Robotic Arms in ground test use at NASA’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division for the Restore-L Mission. Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Projects come to us from different markets and at different levels of maturity, with widely varying needs. Space-flight hardware programs typically impose the most stringent of requirements, but a quick prototype effort could have its requirements written literally on the back of a napkin. This variation of requirements levels can wreak havoc on a project when improperly constrained. We’ve had to come up with a Hardware Classification System that can “dial” to such varying requirement environments, with the resulting explicit program controls settings pre-defined for each dial setting. The trick is to know what to set the dial to for a given program; our decades of experience over hundreds of programs guide our hand when making the setting.