Collaborative engineering and design management for the Hobby Eberly Telescope tracker upgrade
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The engineering and design of systems as complex as the Hobby-Eberly Telescope's* new tracker require that multiple tasks be executed in parallel and overlapping efforts. When the design of individual subsystems is distributed among multiple organizations, teams, and individuals, challenges can arise with respect to managing design productivity and coordinating successful collaborative exchanges. This paper focuses on design management issues and current practices for the tracker design portion of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Wide Field Upgrade project. The scope of the tracker upgrade requires engineering contributions and input from numerous fields including optics, instrumentation, electromechanics, software controls engineering, and site-operations. Successful system-level integration of tracker subsystems and interfaces is critical to the telescope's ultimate performance in astronomical observation. Software and process controls for design information and workflow management have been implemented to assist the collaborative transfer of tracker design data. The tracker system architecture and selection of subsystem interfaces has also proven to be a determining factor in design task formulation and team communication needs. Interface controls and requirements change controls will be discussed, and critical team interactions are recounted (a group-participation Failure Modes and Effects Analysis [FMEA] is one of special interest). This paper will be of interest to engineers, designers, and managers engaging in multi-disciplinary and parallel engineering projects that require coordination among multiple individuals, teams, and organizations.