This software provides a development framework that allows planning activities for the Mars Science Laboratory rover to be altered at any time, based on changes of the Activity Dictionary. The Activity Dictionary contains the definition of all activities that can be carried out by a particular asset (robotic or human). These definitions (and combinations of these definitions) are used by mission planners to give a daily plan of what a mission should do. During the development and course of the mission, the Activity Dictionary and actions that are going to be carried out will often be changed. Previously, such changes would require a change to the software and redeployment. Now, the Activity Dictionary authors are able to customize activity definitions, parameters, and resource usage without requiring redeployment.

This software provides developers and end users the ability to modify the behavior of automatically generated activities using a script. This allows changes to the software behavior without incurring the burden of redeployment. This software is currently being used for the Mars Science Laboratory, and is in the process of being integrated into the LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) mission, as well as the International Space Station.

This work was done by Joseph C. Joshing, Lucy Abramyan, Megan C. Mickelson, Michael N. Wallick, James A. Kurien, Thomas M. Crockett, and Mark W. Powell of Caltech; Guy Pyrzak of Ames Research Center; and Arash Aghevli of Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . NPO-48308

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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