Model-Based Architecture for Responsive Spacecraft Autonomy
ABSTRACT: This proposal addresses the need for solutions that enable higher levels of spacecraft autonomy to reliably maintain operational capabilities. Random hardware faults and hostile threats necessitate autonomous systems capable of responding quickly and effectively to these threats and unexpected events. The proposed research will develop an autonomy software architecture that enables evolutionary onboard capabilities with initial focus on Fault Management. DoD missions will benefit from robust, reliable autonomous capability in support of the warfighter. Onboard autonomy will be crucial to mission success particularly during critical times where the situation changes rapidly and unpredictably with no opportunity for operator support. BENEFIT: The need for the proposed capabilities is emerging, and will increase dramatically as autonomous systems begin to diffuse into operational systems over the next several years. DoD"s drive to a Blue Force situational awareness has already pushed it into exploration of autonomy-enabling architectures which will only increase as spacecraft autonomy moves into the broader spacecraft industry. The DoD"s need for robust, reliable spacecraft autonomy will be especially great due to the variety and complexity of DoD missions. The evolutionary approach to autonomy will be applicable to near-term missions as well as more complex future missions requiring higher levels of onboard autonomy. The capability, with tailoring, will be applicable to a broad set of modularity implementations, and could find applications today with AFRL"s smart technologies development. It could be used for virtually any system requiring onboard autonomy and would thus potentially cover the entire range of mission types from small to large, near-Earth to interplanetary, experimental, science, military, and commercial.
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