Tracy Drain is a Flight Systems Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Lab. This talk describes the Kepler Mission which she worked on for two years and the fantastic discoveries that have been made since Kepler went operational in 2009. Data gathered by Kepler has revealed a virtual smorgasbord of exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy - Tracy will discuss some of her favorites, and let you how to find even more information about the discoveries.
Tracy D. Drain is a systems engineer currently working on the Juno Mission to Jupiter.
Tracy was born and raised in Louisville, KY. After graduating from Waggener High School in 1993, she attended the University of Kentucky where she pursued a degree B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. While at UK, she participated in the engineering co-op program and worked at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. After graduating in 1998, continued her education at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There, she conducted research in the area of Condition Based Monitoring of rolling element bearings and received her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May, 2000.
In June of 2000, Tracy began working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. She joined the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter development team in May of 2001. Prior to launch, she participated in the development of Project System level requirements and the Mission System Fault Trees, and in running simulated mission scenarios with fault conditions. After MRO's launch in August 2005, she remained on the operations team, building and testing command sequences for the orbiter, monitoring spacecraft telemetry and participating in anomaly troubleshooting. She led the planning for 2 months of checkout activities that occurred just prior to the start of the Science Phase and eventually took over the position of Lead Systems Engineer on the Flight Engineering Team.
Tracy left MRO in the fall of 2007 to join the Kepler mission. As the Mission Readiness Lead on the Project Systems Engineering team, her main focus was to ensure thorough planning and testing for all of the activities associated with each of the mission phases. She worked closely with the Project Office, Science Office and other teams to verify that mission timelines and ops procedures were complete, to identify and mitigate phase specific risks and review to test procedures and results. For the March 2009 launch and during the 2 month Commissioning period, she maintained oversight of the command approval process, assessed the criticality of anomalies and their potential impacts on upcoming activities and led the Anomaly Resolution Board in directing the operations team through the execution of contingency procedures.
In May 2009, Tracy joined the Juno project. As a member of the Project Systems and Flight Systems Engineering teams, her focus was on Fault Protection oversight. Her work on Juno included reviewing details of the FP design, verification plans, analyzing the Mission Fault Trees to determine which faults would be observable during Jupiter Orbiter Insertion, co-leading the Risk Reduction Testing campaign and reviewing test/analysis results to confirm that the vehicle would meet its requirements prior to its August 2011 Launch. Now that Juno is in the Operations phase, Tracy leads the Anomaly Response and Risk Management processes for the project.