RAPID is targeted at the task of lunar operations; specifically, operations that deal with robotic assets, cranes, and astronaut spacesuits, often developed at different NASA centers. RAPID allows for a uniform way to command and monitor these assets. Commands can be issued to take images, and monitoring is done via telemetry data from the asset.
There are two unique features to RAPID: First, it allows any operator from any NASA center to control any NASA lunar asset, regardless of location. Second, by abstracting the native language for specific assets to a common set of messages, an operator may control and monitor any NASA lunar asset by being trained only on the use of RAPID, rather than the specific asset.
RAPID is easier to use and more powerful than its predecessor, the Astronaut Interface Device (AID). Utilizing the new robust middleware, DDS (Data Distribution System), developing in RAPID has increased significantly over the old middleware. The API is built upon the Java Eclipse Platform, which combined with DDS, provides platform-independent software architecture, simplifying development of RAPID components. As RAPID continues to evolve and new messages are being designed and implemented, operators for future lunar missions will have a rich environment for commanding and monitoring assets.