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Photo of David Smyth
   David Smyth
  

Mars Exploration (General)

Developed many of the elements of the ground data systems used by all Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) deep space missions over the past 20 years. Developed the first protocol for reliable, multi-path deep space communications, being used on MER and soon on MSL. Developed the software architecture and many of the primary software components used by most JPL and Lockheed Martin missions over the past 15 years.

Mars Science Laboratory

I am leading the flight-ground software system development effort. We are implementing many tools to automate the interactions between the software developers, software modules, and software systems. We are also implementing an entirely new communication software infrastructure, and a new data storage infrastructure. While lots of new code, it is an evolution of what we did on the MER (Spirit and Opportunity) mission, and the Pathfinder mission.

Mars Exploration Rover Mission

I invented an algorithm for an on-board object database that was real-time and proveable, as well as a minimum overhead mechanism for critical sections that is a dramatic improvement over semaphores. Using these two discoveries, I implemented an all new data management and data transport system to reliably deliver data from Mars to Earth over multiple communication links and paths.

Mars Odyssey

The on-board software developed by Lockheed Martin was derived from our Mars Pathfinder software.

Mars Polar Lander

The on-board software developed by Lockheed Martin was derived from our Mars Pathfinder software.

Mars Climate Orbiter

The on-board software developed by Lockheed Martin was derived from our Mars Pathfinder software.

Mars Global Surveyor

The on-board software developed by Lockheed Martin was derived from our Mars Pathfinder software.

Mars Pathfinder

Along with Kim Gostelow and Glenn Reeves, we defined a dramatically new architecture for spacecraft flight software. I also developed a new type of telemetry system. Both of these efforts have become the de facto standards for Mars missions. Tony Spears, the Mars Pathfinder Project Manager, opened my eyes to effective leadership.

Mars Observer

I was responsible for many of the major components of the MO grounds data system. Concepts were carried directly into the Mars Pathfinder integrated end-to-end information system.


David Smyth:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections



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