Operations engineers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center help to advance science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration by managing operational aspects of a flight research project. They serve as the governing authority on airworthiness related to the modification, operation, or maintenance of specialized research or support aircraft so those aircraft can be flown safely without jeopardizing the pilots, persons on the ground or the flight test project.
With extensive aircraft modifications often required to support new research and technology development efforts, operations engineers are key leaders from technical concept to flight to ensure flight safety and mission success. Other responsibilities of an operations engineer include configuration management, performing systems design and integration, system safety analysis, coordinating flight readiness activities, and providing real-time flight support.
This video highlights the responsibilities and daily activities of NASA Armstrong operations engineer Robert Rivera during the preparation and execution of the Global Hawk airborne missions under NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.