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Habitat Automation Software Successfully Demonstrated During JSC Deep Space Habitat Mission Operations Test
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Habitat Automation Software Successfully Demonstrated During JSC Deep Space Habitat Mission Operations Test

Throughout the two-week Mission Operations Test (MOT) in the Deep Space Habitat (DSH) at Johnson Space Center (JSC), September 10-21, software provided by the Autonomous Systems Project ran twenty four hours a day, monitoring DSH systems. The software included the Advanced Caution and Warning System (ACAWS), which automatically detects and diagnoses failures in the DSH power and communications systems. A new feature added to ACAWS in FY12 is the Failure Consequence Assessment System (FCAS). After a failure has been detected and diagnosed, FCAS automatically determines the consequences of the failure, including identifying which components have stopped functioning as a result of the failed component. For example, if a Power Distribution Unit (PDU) fails, all of the components that are powered by the PDU will stop functioning.

The ACAWS and FCAS outputs were displayed at the ACAWS console in a control room in Building 30 at JSC. During the test, ACAWS and FCAS successfully detected, diagnosed, and assessed the consequences of six injected failures, plus several real failures. The DSH flight controllers used ACAWS and a few controllers came to rely on it.

The Vehicle System Manager (VSM) software was used to automatically repair a failure that had been detected and diagnosed by ACAWS. Based on the diagnosis, ACAWS selected a repair procedure and then the VSM executed it in a fully automated fashion. Crew members inside the DSH were informed of the failure in the power system after it had been automatically repaired. The VSM was developed by JSC using the PLEXIL (Plan Execution Language) software from Ames.

BACKGROUND: The Habitat Automation (HA) project element is building technology to automate the operations of a future habitat in which people could live on the surface of a moon, planet, or asteroid, or in deep space on the way to and from such destinations. An important part of habitat automation is the ability to automatically detect and diagnose failures in habitat systems, and to then automatically respond to those failures.

The Deep Space Habitat (DSH) is a prototype of a future habitat that could be used to house astronauts. During the Mission Operations Test (MOT), four crew members lived inside the DSH at JSC for two weeks while the MOT simulated the return trip to Earth from an asteroid. A time delay was inserted into all communications between crew members and flight controllers to simulate the speed-of-light communication delay that would occur on a mission to an asteroid.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Office of the Chief Technologist Game Changing Development (OCT GCD) program, Autonomous Systems (AS) project; Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program; and the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Habitation Systems project

TEAM MEMBERS: Gordon Aaseng (ARC/TI@JSC, FCAS lead), Vijay Baskaran (SGT), Patrick Brodie (summer student at ARC from Washington State University), Silvano Colombano (ARC/TI), Mike Dalal (SGT), Chuck Fry (SGT), Jeremy Johnson (SGT), Rob McCann (ARC/TH), Arthur Molin (S&K Aerospace @ JSC), Paul Morris (ARC/TI), John Ossenfort (SGT), Ann Patterson-Hine (ARC/TI), Peter Robinson (ARC/TI), Mark Schwabacher (ARC/TI, AS lead), Irene Smith (SGT), Lilly Spirkovska (ARC/TI), and Lui Wang (JSC)

CUSTOMERS: Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Habitation Systems project (led by Alvin Drew of JSC); AES Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO) project (led by Jeremy Frank of Code TI)

Contact: Mark Schwabacher

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