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Integrated System for Autonomous & Adaptive Caretaking Research Project Completes 6th Space Station Activity
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Integrated System for Autonomous & Adaptive Caretaking Research Project Completes 6th Space Station Activity

On April 7, 2022, the sixth Integrated System for Autonomous and Adaptive Caretaking (ISAAC) on-orbit activity took place. The Astrobee robot free-flyer Bumble flew in Node 2, Astrobee's first flight outside of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). Sparse map localization did not perform as well as hoped, however, Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) performed well enough to enable several sparse mapping survey runs within Node 2. This will enable us to improve the Node 2 map for future flights. Bumble also successfully flew through the Node 2/JEM hatch and back using sparse map localization.

In the JEM module, the Astrobee Queen completed a survey that will allow for the calibration of the SciCam and enable Queen to collect ISAAC data in future activities. Queen also completed a panorama-type survey of Bay 6 of the JEM for evaluation of map data quality. This is also the first time two Astrobees were used to run two different experiments, and the first time Astrobees operated in two different modules at the same time.

BACKGROUND: ISAAC is a three-year research project (FY20-22) to develop technology for autonomous caretaking of spacecraft, primarily during non-crewed mission phases. Its technology focus is on integrating autonomous Intra-Vehicular Robots (IVRs) with spacecraft infrastructure (power, life support, etc.) and ground control. Its application focus is on capabilities required for Gateway, NASA’s lunar-orbiting spaceport, that also apply to human missions to Mars and beyond. It uses existing IVR like Astrobee on the ISS as an analog for future IVR on Gateway.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Game Changing Development (GCD) Program, Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)

TEAM: Abiola Akanni, Oleg Alexandrov, J Benton, Maria Bualat, Brian Coltin, Kathryn Hamilton, Marina Moreira, Bob Morris, Joe Pea, Khaled Sharif, Trey Smith, and Ryan Soussan; JOHNSON SPACE CENTER (JSC): Laura Barron, Janette Garcia, Lewis Hill, Evan Laske, Nicole Ortega, Connor Rainen, and Misha Savchenko. Many thanks also to the ISS Astrobee Facility for supporting ISAAC’s use of Astrobee.

POINT OF CONTACT: Jose Benavides,

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