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12 July 2008 Verification, validation, and testing the New Worlds Observer: first thoughts
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The New Worlds Observer is mission concept for detection of extra-solar planets made up of two spacecraft, one hosting the starshade and the other the telescope and detectors. These two spacecraft are located ten of thousands of kilometers apart, making full scale terrestrial based testing impossible. Key elements include (a) the starshade, a large scale precision structure; (b) alignment sensors accurate to a meter laterally at 20-80 megameter distances; and (c) high specific impulse thrusters for slew and fine alignment. Clearly, the "test as you fly" approach is simply inapplicable for this mission. However, the telescope requirements are those of a generic space astronomy observatory, alignment sensing has been simplified to solvable problems [Noecker 2007] and navigation is a straightforward application of known principles with flight heritage. From this patchwork, some cohesive testing plan is needed ensure proper performance of the system when deployed on orbit. We will describe our first thoughts on how to verify, validate and test this very large system. We will discuss the roles of subsystem and subscale testing, computer based modeling, model validation and full scale inspection.
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Jonathan W. Arenberg and M. C. Noecker "Verification, validation, and testing the New Worlds Observer: first thoughts", Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 70103T (12 July 2008);

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