NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed software that mimics the biological mechanisms of autonomic systems and apoptotic systems (the process that shuts down cells when they no longer serve a purpose). The software provides self-management and security for a distributed system such as a satellite swarm in which craft communicate and collaborate. Originally developed for space missions, this capability has now been extended for use in terrestrial applications involving cloud and grid-based systems and other applications requiring highly distributed operation.

Next-generation computer-based systems that perform highly distributed systems-upon-systems operation require that the environment is self-managing. This technology provides a range of features that includes various autonomic computing (self-managing) techniques. These include an apoptotic (self-destruct) mechanism for SWARM agents and spacecraft, and autonomous and autonomic environments.

With the future direction of computer-based systems becoming highly distributed (such as cloud and grid computing), autonomic capabilities will be increasingly critical for creating and maintaining a pervasive self-managing system.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. For more information, contact the Goddard Strategic Partnerships Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-286-5810. Follow this link here  for more information.


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This article first appeared in the May, 2020 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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