Meet NSSDC's Data Management Software Developers

By Natalie Barnes

DIOnAS development team members (top row: left to right) Pat McCaslin,
Saima Zobair, Fred Pierce, (bottom row: left to right) John Garrett, John Collins,
Mark Hei, and Pat Higgins. See DIOnAS staff profile article in this newsletter
"Meet NSSDC's Data Management Software Developers".

Many NSSDC staffers, including acquisition scientists, systems engineers, software developers, and data operations personnel have been involved in the planning, building and implementation of the data management upgrades described in many other articles in this newsletter. This article offers a profile the system engineers and software development personnel who designed and built the systems. These include Pat McCaslin, Pat Higgins, Fred Pierce, Bill Wood, and Saima Zobair of the DIOnAS team and John Garrett and Mark Hei of the NOST team.

Pat McCaslin is a senior systems engineer who is responsible for requirements analysis and design. After spending many years on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) project, Pat came to the NSSDC in the summer of 1996 and joined the DIOnAS team in 1999.

John Collins joined the DIOnAS project in late 1999 after spending 17 years as a software engineer—the previous two working exclusively on Java projects similar to DIOnAS. John is currently working on DIOnAS as a senior Java developer. He studied computer science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and became a Sun certified Java Programmer in 1998.

Fred Pierce has been the NSSDC data base administrator since November of 1997. He is responsible for DIOnAS data base design and administration, and coding of data base stored procedures. Prior to joining NSSDC Fred's work at Goddard included data base administration for the Data Distribution Facility and the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.

Pat Higgins is a senior test engineer with DIOnAS. Pat has been in the IT industry for more than 30 years and is retired from IBM. He has been with the DIOnAS project for 15 months.

Bill Wood is a senior software engineer responsible for requirements analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance of DIOnAS software. Specific responsibilities include development of Java software that provides the external interface to the ingest management mechanism of DIOnAS. Bill has been assigned to the DIOnAS project since July, 2000 and has nearly twenty years experience in the software development field.

Saima Zobair joined NSSDC after spending four years as a software developer for the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at Goddard. She is currently working on DIOnAS as a Java application developer. Saima received a B.S. in computer science from Utah State University in 1994 and an M.S. in computer science from Marquette University in 1996.

John Garrett is a principal software analyst who has been supporting the NOST task at NSSDC for ten years. As a system engineer, John participated in developing consensus for the interface specifications between NOST products and the DIOnAS system discussed in this newsletter. He has been very involved in the CCSDS/ISO-sponsored activity creating the archive reference model (OAIS) that has contributed to NSSDC's new data management approaches.

Mark Hei is a software analyst who has been supporting the NOST program through Raytheon for two years. Prior to that he was associated with NOST software projects through other companies for approximately four years. Mark has developed all the NOST-related software packages identified in the companion articles: DMU, PSU, PGU, and Extractor. He works remotely from his office in Western Maryland. Mark is an NSSDC legacy - his father, Dr. Donald Hei, was one of NSSDC's earliest space physics acquisition scientists.

NSSDC would also like to thank Colin Klipsch, Arthur George and David Hardin who were instrumental in the success of DIOnAS but have since moved on to other projects. end of article mark

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Curator: Natalie Barnes
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
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