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To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
ATLO Test Conductor Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
My name is Jackie Lyra, and I'm a test conductor with the ATLO team. Here in ATLO we are responsible for testing the actual spacecrafts, the flight units. We start testing from the "box" level, from the (circuit board) level, and we test all the way until the spacecraft is fully integrated in a launch configuration. So pretty much the tests we are doing here in ATLO we are testing the real thing that's going to Mars. We try to "test as we fly," so it's very much like the real thing. We are testing real hardware, we are testing the spacecraft that's going to Mars, so it is like the real thing.
I'm the test conductor, so I lead a team of people. In that team we have one person that is an "avionics" person, that's pretty much responsible for commanding the spacecraft, sending commands, telling the spacecraft what to do. We have a person that's responsible for the "telecom" system, that's responsible for all the communications between the spacecraft and the ground. And we always have one person that's called the "electrical systems" person that's responsible for the overall health of the spacecraft. And sometimes we have people from other subsystems, depending on what we're testing. For example, if we are testing a "propulsion" system we may have an expert on the propulsion system. If we are testing a system like the "temperature control" system, we may have an expert in temperature control that will join us just for a short period of time. But on a daily basis we pretty much have a test conductor, an avionics person, and an electrical systems person.