Ezra's Round Table / Systems Seminar: Richa Sirohi M.Eng. '19 (NASA)


Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall 253


Mission to a Metal World: Systems Engineering of Psyche's End-to-End Information System

The Psyche Mission is a mission to the asteroid “(16) Psyche”, featuring three science instruments and gravity science. (16) Psyche, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, will be the first potential metal world—instead of rock or ice—visited by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) managed mission will explore Psyche for 21 months after an earliest launch date of August 2022 and a 3.5-year cruise. In this seminar, Psyche’s End-to-End Information System’s (EEIS) concept, architecture, and implementation will be introduced as well as the systems engineering tools and methodologies utilized. The EEIS is a virtual and critical system composed of distributed data system functions through the subsystems. The system is defined by how the flight, mission, and launch systems work together to enable Psyche’s data flows (uplink, downlink, spacecraft, and ground). And, by the system’s performance in validating, accounting for, processing, distributing, and storing Psyche’s data. EEIS Engineers are specifically responsible for the concept formulation of the information system, the design architecture and communication standards used for the flight-ground interface, and testing of the system’s functions and performance. This includes modeling data flows, evaluating the mission’s operational constraints, requirements, and inherited mission infrastructure. The possible advantages and limitations of Psyche’s EEIS architecture and systems engineering practices will be shared as well as suggestions for future space missions.

Richa Sirohi is an End-to-End Information System Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She works on the communications architecture for the Psyche Mission. Richa has previously worked on the Mars Perseverance Rover, the Cold Atom Laboratory, Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA), a Lunar Mission Concept, and Europa Clipper. She also founded JPL’s Early Career Community for young professionals.

Richa studied mechanical engineering at Baylor and went on to complete an M.Eng. from Cornell University in systems engineering with an emphasis on aerospace systems and research in soft robotics (2019). She is currently pursuing a part-time M.Eng. in engineering management from Cornell while also working full-time at JPL.

Richa is a South Asian American from Omaha, NE and is also the host of a diversity-centric, storytelling podcast celebrating the people who make space exploration possible—Space People. She is passionate about building diverse communities, a long-lasting, equitable work culture, engaging in educational outreach in schools, mentoring student interns, and inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM. Richa was the 2021 recipient of the NASA-JPL Bruce Murray Award for her work in educational outreach. She also enjoys cooking, racquetball, writing papers, attending classical concerts, photography, traveling, and exploring nature.