CMACS PI Gerard Holzmann Awarded 2012 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal
CMACS PI Gerard Holzmann of the NASA JPL has been awarded the 2012 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal "for exceptional engineering contributions toward achievement of the NASA mission." Gerard and his NASA JPL colleagues were directly involved in the development of the complex software that controls the Mars Science Laboratory mission. The Curiosity Rover successfully made a soft landing on the surface of Mars in early August, using a never-before attempted sky-crane mechanism.
The software for the Rover was verified with both static analysis and with advanced logic model checking techniques, in an effort to help make the code as robust as possible. So far, the software has performed flawlessly.
The control software for this spacecraft is among the most complex of any system, which is precisely why the use of advanced verification techniques, as explored in the CMACS project, can be crucial.