Meet Curt Boyce
Software Development Lead
As the lead software engineer for the data systems development group, I oversee the activities of a team of software engineers who enhance and maintain the functionalities of the software that collects and displays the data for the NFAC (National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex). The programs we write enable the researchers in the tunnel to see selected tunnel/model measurements and computed resultant data in real-time via displays in the control room.
This same software also allows the user to take extended samples (on the order of 30 seconds) of the measurements and archive them in a database for later analysis.
Because there is a different collection of instruments used to measure conditions in the tunnel and on the model for each test, we must modify our software to match that collection of instruments. For the Wright Flyer test there was software which had to be modified for computations and displays, as well as a software enhancement to provide a new interface to a Macintosh computer which was separate from the data acquisition system.
My Career Path
I went to community college before attending the University of California, San Diego, then I completed my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at San Diego State University in 1989. I went to work for Unisys Corporation in San Diego writing software for Navy shipboard training and simulation exercises. I was able to get a transfer within Unisys to a NASA contract at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in late 1990. I spent 5 years in Houston writing software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) where we did testing of space shuttle flight software with a complete shuttle simulator. I met my wife Sarah while we were both working in SAIL, she too is a software engineer. I made it back to California by way of a 1 year stint at Lockheed Martin on the Milstar satellite contract. I have been a software engineer for the NFAC data system here at NASA Ames since December of 1996.
Why I Like My Job
Future Goals Sarah and I will likely be relocating to North Carolina sometime in the future. We hope we are more able to afford a house with some land back there, and we both intend to pursue post graduate degrees at either the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill or North Carolina State University. Unfortunately, there is no NASA site near Raleigh, but I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed over 7 years of work on NASA projects.