Project Experience Print
Written by John J. Vencill   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 14:01

Raytheon Systems Company | The MITRE Corporation | McDonnell Douglas Corporation

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Most Recent Position

Principal Software Engineer, Robins Engineering Center

APG-70 Software Development Facility

Team leader during installation and sell-off of the system at Robins Air Force Base.

Specialist in software technology and quality, especially in the areas of Configuration Management and Product Builds. Systems primarily consist of UNIX and Windows NT computers. Languages and tools include C/C++, Tcl/Tk, HTML, ClearCase, and Microsoft Office.

The MITRE Corporation The MITRE Corporation Logo

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Most Recent Position

Member of the Technical Staff in the Airborne Warning and Control System Department of The MITRE Corporation.

Airborne Warning and Control System Radar System Improvement Program

Software Quality Assurance and Configuration Manager for a group developing software to evaluate radar performance relative to its specification using data recorded during flight. Also Data Manager, developer of coordinate transformation and flight test tape reading software, coordination point with system administrators, and provider of general user support on C, FORTRAN, and UNIX topics.

Prepared and coordinated technical recommendations in the form of letters to the Air Force on the adequacy of the contractor's plans for software demonstration, the cost of hardware and software for software support of Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, and other topics as assigned. Published weekly summary of software development progress from metrics supplied by the contractor.

Mission Data Preparation System

Assigned to develop a migration plan for the Mission Data Preparation System into the Air Force Mission Support System architecture. Prepared a memorandum describing pertinent migration issues when Air Force and MITRE reorganizations caused premature termination of the effort.


McDonnell Douglas Corporation McDonnell Douglas Corporation Logo

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Most Recent Position

Senior Technical Specialist in the Software Technology and Support Department of the Avionics Engineering Division of McDonnell Aircraft Company.

Software Technology Core Group

Organized and led a Software Engineering Process Group to collect, unify, and improve software engineering processes throughout the Avionics Engineering Division. Chairman of the Software Test Methods and Processes Committee.Chairman of the Software Coding Standards Committee for Ada Avionics Software.

Technical member of the Software Engineering Environment subcommittee of the Government and industry Joint Integrated Avionics Working Group (JIAWG), its Software Engineering Standards and Practices Task Group, and its Software Engineering Environment Specification Task Group. Traveled extensively in support of these committees and worked closely with representatives of other major aerospace companies and members of the military services.

Advanced Tactical Fighter (YF-23)

Led a five person Software Engineering Process Group which defined software development and management procedures for the Advanced Tactical Fighter and successfully completed the Software Development Capability/ Capacity Review (SDCCR) conducted by the Air Force in accordance with Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division Pamphlet 800-5. Prepared the Management Approach section of the SDCCR. Coordinated with the Northrop Corporation and with potential subcontractors on their reviews.

Contributed to definition of project software support tools and the software engineering environment. Participated in preparation of performance appraisals and merit reviews of software personnel assigned to the project.

Automated Software Development

Principal Investigator of a twelve person Internal Research and Development (IRAD) project on advanced software engineering tools and an integrated environment for developing software for embedded avionic systems. Managed the group budget, led research and development activity, and prepared proposals, briefings, and reports. Government reviewers rated this program among the best of the McDonnell Internal Research and Development projects.

Advanced Tactical Aircraft (A-12)

Led McDonnell's avionic software group on the Advanced Tactical Aircraft program during its Concept Formulation and Demonstration/Validation phases from 1985 until 1987. Defined software development methodology, development and test tools, and facilities. Participated in preparation of the Software Development Plan including tailoring DOD-STD-2167A for the several types of software developed or used on the project. Estimated software size, cost, and schedules and prepared proposal sections. Was the first McDonnell software professional assigned to the project early in the Concept Formulation phase and was stationed for a year at the Fort Worth, Texas plant of General Dynamics Corporation, McDonnell's teammate on the program.

F/A-18 Hornet

Designed, implemented, and tested the Air-to-Ground Module of the F/A-18 Mission Computer Operational Flight Program and defined interfaces between the Mission Computer and each of four other subsystems. Supported system requirements definition, simulation, and flight testing. Joined the project early in the Full Scale Development phase and continued into the Operation and Maintenance phase of the program. Supervised a programmer and a test engineer.

Supervised the Navigation Module as well as the Air-to-Ground Module, including review of proposed changes and possible interaction between these modules and others. Conducted performance appraisals and merit reviews and provided career guidance for this group of software development personnel.

Emitter Location and Other Studies

Contributed to a variety of projects involving theoretical analysis of spread spectrum radio systems for data transmission, radar altimetry, and emitter location.

Performed computer simulation and analyzed candidate emitter location techniques for a study contract. Evaluated Barankin lower bounds for achievable location accuracy using an IBM 370 computer.

Speech Parameter Extraction Program

Formulated the harmonic truncation method of extracting signal parameters from recorded speech to drive a hardware speech synthesizer. The parameters of interest were pitch, the amplitudes of the most significant harmonics, duration, and an overall damping factor computed using Hilbert transforms. Supplying the extracted parameters to the synthesizer resulted in recognizable words with significantly less effort than manual parameter estimation and with smaller data storage requirements than the original sampled speech.

Saturn Atmospheric Entry Probe

Designed the radio system for the Saturn Atmospheric Entry Probe proposal while on loan from the McDonnell Douglas Electronics Company to the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company. Wrote a program to validate predicted bit error probability by computer simulation of the transmitter and receiver functions. This work later continued under funding from NASA - Ames Research Center.

Position Location Reporting System

Designed the radio system and prepared written sections for the Marine Corps Position Location Reporting System (PLRS) proposal. Analyzed the effect of various types of enemy jamming and severe multipath propagation conditions. Was co-inventor of the patented concatenated surface wave delay line correlator. Wrote a computer simulation of the entire communications subsystem, including ranging and data transmission, with extensive use of fast Fourier transforms.

In an early phase of the program, designed an experiment to collect multipath radio reflection data in several representative types of terrain near St. Louis. Wrote data reduction software which calculated the radio channel impulse response from received series of transmitted pulses.

Re-Entry Vehicle Test Observables

Analytically predicted the impact of multipath interference on the radio tracking and telemetry links between a test vehicle on a ballistic trajectory and ground stations. Wrote a white paper during a short term assignment to the project.

Viking Martian Lander

Designed the radio system and prepared written sections of the Viking Martian Lander proposal. Interacted with a subcontractor who was to supply radio and data system hardware. Analyzed convolutional coding and sequential decoding for error correction. Performed trade studies for direct S-Band command and data links between the lander and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory tracking stations on Earth. Wrote computer programs to calculate orbital telemetry geometry between the lander and a vehicle in Martian orbit. Designed the VHF frequency shift keyed relay communication link from the lander to the orbiter. Designed a new type of data bit synchronizer for the selected Manchester II data format. Developed an analytical method to calculate the effect of multipath interference on the VHF relay link and presented a paper on the subject at the National Telemetering Conference in Los Angeles in 1968.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 17:42