With so many challenging design and implementation factors, space optical systems demand a team of domain experts that collaborate to design and build them. It is only within the team construct that optical systems on space missions are possible. Think of it as a sports team: every player brings their unique skill set to the game, trusts their teammates, and works together to score a goal, land a touchdown, or hit a grand slam.
Similar to being on the field, working on mission-critical space projects also requires a strong team structure that focuses on delivering a common goal top down — from the political and leadership executives to the technical experts and programming engineers.
At Synopsys, we have a rich history of working in space exploration and know the importance of being part of the right team. Even before being acquired by Synopsys, Optical Research Associates (ORA) had already provided designs for early missions in the space program. Later, optical engineers used ORA/Synopsys software to design and validate the corrective optics on the Hubble Space Telescope’s first servicing mission, enabling it to take the images it currently does today.
More recently, Synopsys optical engineers have worked with various partners to design both deep space and low-earth orbit (LEO) systems. In one notable example, Synopsys optical engineers partnered with Malin Space Science Systems, Motiv Space Systems, Arizona State University, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to design the first zoom lens system in interplanetary or deep space exploration, Mastcam-Z, using Synopsys CODE V optical design software. As another example of a system just now coming on line, we have had the pleasure of working closely with NASA on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of the JWST Product Integrity Team, where CODE V was used to design several deep imaging instruments to study the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang.
Cross-organizational efforts such as these are essential in achieving success during mission-critical space projects and expanding our knowledge of the universe.