Fuzzy Feature Observation Planner for Small Body Proximity Observations (FuzzObserver) is a developmental computer program, to be used along with other software, for autonomous planning of maneuvers of a spacecraft near an asteroid, comet, or other small astronomical body. Selection of terrain features and estimation of the position of the spacecraft relative to these features is an essential part of such planning. FuzzObserver contributes to the selection and estimation by generating recommendations for spacecraft trajectory adjustments to maintain the spacecraft's ability to observe sufficient terrain features for estimating position. The input to FuzzObserver consists of data from terrain images, including sets of data on features acquired during descent toward, or traversal of, a body of interest. The name of this program reflects its use of fuzzy logic to reason about the terrain features represented by the data and extract corresponding trajectory-adjustment rules. Linguistic fuzzy sets and conditional statements enable fuzzy systems to make decisions based on heuristic rule-based knowledge derived by engineering experts. A major advantage of using fuzzy logic is that it involves simple arithmetic calculations that can be performed rapidly enough to be useful for planning within the short times typically available for spacecraft maneuvers.

This program was written by Ayanna Howard and David Bayard of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-2827. Refer to NPO-41290.