A report discusses the concept of goal-based fault tolerance as implemented in NASA’s Mission Data System (MDS), which is a developmental architecture for unified flight, test, and ground software that is intended to be adaptable to a variety of next-generation deep-space missions. In goal-based fault tolerance, unlike in prior approaches to fault tolerance, it is not assumed that faults that necessitate deviations from prescribed sequences of commands will occur infrequently; instead, it is assumed that unpredictable conditions, including faults, can arise at any time, and fault tolerance is incorporated as an intrinsic feature of every aspect of system design in a unified approach to ensuring robust system behavior.

This work was done by Daniel Dvorak, Erann Gat, Kim Gostelow, Robert Rasmussen, and Steve Chien of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To obtain a copy of the report, “Goal Based Fault Tolerance for Space Systems Using the Mission Data System,” access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp under the Information Sciences category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-3425. Refer to NPO-21176.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Goal-Based Fault Tolerance for Spacecraft Systems

(reference NPO-21176) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the January, 2002 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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