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  • A pragmatic Approach for Knowledge Management

    Paper number



    Mr. Siegmar Pallaschke, European Space Agency (ESA), Germany


    Ms. Roberta Mugellesi-Dow, European Space Agency (ESA), Germany



    Co-Authors: Gino Armuzzi ( Mercer Company, Milan, Italy), Roberta Mugellesi-Dow
    (ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany)
    Within the past years several steps were undertaken towards the introduction
    of a knowledge management system at ESOC, the European Space Operations
    Centre. During the previous year a pilot project was initiated within the
    Flight Dynamics area (a key technical domain within ESOC taking care of the
    orbit- and attitude aspects for the satellite operations) with respect to the
    questions of knowledge transfer and its barriers. Based on the positive
    outcome of this pilot project a fundamental knowledge management approach was
    commenced in November 2007. The basic steps within the current fundamental
    knowledge management approach are the coverage- and criticality analysis of
    the individual technical domains of ESOC. The individual technical domains of
    ESOC are briefly described in the subsequent paragraph.
    ESOC is located at Darmstadt, Germany and is an establishment of the European
    Space Agency (ESA). ESOC is responsible for the operations of the European
    satellites. These operations include the following major technical domains
    (only the technical ones are mentioned here):
    - Set up of ground stations, communications network between the ground
    stations and ESOC, as well as the entire operations;
    - Mission control systems;
    - Flight mechanics covering the celestial and the spacecraft dynamic part and
    - Actual mission operations (spacecraft/ payload).
    The knowledge management approach includes the breakdown of the technical
    domains in knowledge areas, fields and components. The definition of the
    roles and responsibilities such as the technical domain assistant, the
    knowledge area leader and the core team is an essential part of the pragmatic
    As mentioned above, the basic steps within the current fundamental knowledge
    management approach are the coverage- and criticality analysis of the
    individual technical domains of ESOC. Of course the set-up for this analysis
    could not be obtained off the shelf, it had to be designed for the ESOC
    spacecraft operations environment specifically. The design was driven by the
    goals of completeness and correctness and on this basis the necessary forms/
    questionnaires were worked out. However, it was experienced that the detailed
    coverage analysis caused too many hurdles and hence numerous iterations were
    carried out before a compromise between effort required and information
    provided could be found. Simplicity was the term which made the process
    The proposed contribution will describe the initial design of the coverage-
    and criticality analysis  as well as the end product. The changes and the
    reasoning for the changes will be outlined. Based on this practical
    experience guidelines will be derived for the introduction of a knowledge
    management system and in particular for the coverage analysis. The proposed
    paper will also show the results of the analysis.
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-08.D5.2.8.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.