Software for Autonomous Spacecraft Maneuvers
- Created: Wednesday, 01 December 2004
The AutoCon computer programs facilitate and accelerate the planning and execution of orbital control maneuvers of spacecraft while analyzing and resolving mission constraints. AutoCon-F is executed aboard spacecraft, enabling the spacecraft to plan and execute maneuvers autonomously; AutoCon-G is designed for use on the ground. The AutoCon programs utilize advanced techniques of artificial intelligence, including those of fuzzy logic and natural language scripting, to resolve multiple conflicting constraints and automatically plan maneuvers. These programs can be used to satisfy requirements for missions that involve orbits around the Earth, the Moon, or any planet, and are especially useful for missions in which there are requirements for frequent maneuvers and for resolution of complex conflicting constraints. During operations, the software targets new trajectories, places and sizes maneuvers, and controls spacecraft burns. AutoCon-G provides a user friendly graphical interface, and can be used effectively by an analyst with minimal training. AutoCon-F reduces latency and supports multiple-spacecraft and formation-flying missions. The AutoCon architecture supports distributive processing, which can be critical for formation-control missions. AutoCon is completely object-oriented and can easily be enhanced by adding new objects and events. AutoCon-F was flight demonstrated onboard GSFC’s EO-1 spacecraft flying in formation with Landsat-7.
These programs were written by John Bristow, Dave Folta, Al Hawkins, and Greg Dell of Goddard Space Flight Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category. GSC-14629-1