Deep Space 1 flies in OpenSim

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Deep Space 1 was the first spacecraft to be autonomously controlled by an onboard** AI planner and execution system in the Remote Agent eXperiment (RAX). The spacecraft flew with other novel and experimental technologies such as an ion thruster. It visited Comet Borrelly in 2001.

I have placed a 3D model of Deep Space 1 to realistic scale on the Space City area in our OpenSim grid. This uses one of the freely available 3D models available from NASA.


Deep Space 1 in OpenSim

Deep Space 1 and the Remote Agents eXperiment are used as a case study of AI Planning technology on the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics AI Planning MOOC – a Massive Open On-line Course on the Coursera Platform.

See the feature videos from the MOOC on AI Planning for Space applications by:

** An earlier AI planner from our own AIAI Planning group at Edinburgh generated plans on the ground on the T-Sat project which after validation were subsequently uploaded and used to control the UoSAT-II spacecraft.

Drabble, B. (1990) Mission scheduling for spacecraft: the diaries of T-SCHED, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Expert Planning Systems, pp. 76–81, Institute of Electrical Engineers, 27-29 Jun 1990. [PDF Document]


Describes the scheduling system T-SCHED, developed to automatically generate mission command sequences for the UOSAT-II satellite. At present the schedules are generated by hand, which is a slow and potentially error-prone activity. While the exercise has shown the author’s techniques to be successful with UOSAT-II, further investigations are required of applicability to more complex satellites such as ERS-1, before a complete picture can be gained. The paper provides a brief background to UOSAT-II, describes the design of the scheduling system and the representation of the constraints within it, discusses a typical scheduling problem and test results. Finally it suggests possible directions for future work.

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