The opto-mechanical design of the 6.6 meter James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), with its actively-controlled secondary and 18-segment primary mirror, presents unique challenges from a system engineering perspective. To maintain the optical alignment of the telescope on-orbit, a process called wavefront sensing and control (WFS&C) is employed to determine the current state of the mirrors and calculate the optimal mirror move updates. The needed imagery is downloaded to the ground, where the WFS&C algorithms to process the images reside, and the appropriate commands are uploaded to the observatory. Rather than use a dedicated wavefront sensor for the imagery as is done in most other applications, a science camera is used instead.
For the success of the mission, WFS&C needs to perform flawlessly using the assets available among the combination of separate elements (ground operations, spacecraft, science instruments, optical telescope, etc.) that cross institutional as well as geographic borders. Rather than be yet another distinct element with its own set of requirements to flow to the other elements as was originally planned, a novel approach was selected. This approach entails reviewing and auditing other documents for the requirements needed to satisfy the needs of WFS&C. Three actions are taken: (1) when appropriate requirements exist, they are tracked by WFS&C ; (2) when an existing requirement is insufficient to meet the need, a requirement change is initiated; and finally (3) when a needed requirement is missing, a new requirement is established in the corresponding document. This approach, deemed a "best practice" at the customer's independent audit, allows for program confidence that the necessary requirements are complete, while still maintaining the responsibility for the requirement with the most appropriate entity.
This paper describes the details and execution of the approach; the associated WFS&C requirements and verification documentation; and the implementation of the primary database tool for the project, DOORS (Dynamic Object-Oriented Requirements System).