Automated Rover Sequence Generation (ARSG) is a prototype computer program for ground-based automatic generation of sequences of commands that can be used for a robotic exploratory vehicle (rover) on Mars. ARSG is based on the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) computer program, which has been described in several NASA Tech Briefs articles in recent years. Given high-level scientific and engineering activities required of a rover, ARSG automatically generates a sequence of commands that can be executed by the rover within resource constraints and in compliance with flight rules. An automated- planning-and-scheduling software subsystem encodes rover design knowledge and uses search and reasoning techniques to automatically generate low-level command sequences while (1) respecting rover operability constraints, scientific and engineering preferences, environmental predictions, and (2) adhering to hard temporal constraints. By enabling goal-driven command of planetary rovers, this software can reduce the need for highly skilled rover engineering personnel, thereby reducing the costs of mission operations. ARSG enables faster responses to changes in the state of a rover (e.g., malfunctions) or to scientific discoveries by eliminating the time-consuming manual validation of command sequences and enabling rapid “what-if” analyses.

Contributors to this software include Robert Sherwood, Tara Estlin, Darren Mutz, Gregg Rabideau, Steve Chien, Paul Backes, Jeff Norris, Brian Cooper, and Scott Maxwell of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393- 3425. Refer to NPO-30204.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Software Generates Sequences of Operations for a Mars Rover

(reference NPO-30204) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

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

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