The proposed innovation, an Astronaut Agent, will fulfill several onboard functions and will aid the astronauts in several ways. It will have access to and monitor all sensor values, camera views, and information from external communications. Among other things, it will use these data to detect unsafe conditions, faults, and anomalies and to diagnose the root causes and automatically notify the crew, reconfigure equipment, call up necessary procedures, and add tasks to the schedule, as appropriate. The Astronaut Agent will have the ability to issue commands to the various spacecraft subsystems and command and monitor internal and external robotics in order to offload tasking from the human astronauts. It will aid astronauts by off-loading some procedure steps, while verbally and/or graphically stepping the astronaut through others, at the same time monitoring important sensor values and camera views as required by the procedure. It will be able to manipulate/re-plan the master onboard crew/resource timeline as required by circumstances or as requested by the crew. It will provide a user-friendly, natural language spoken and gesture interface to answer questions and receive requests. It will use commonsense knowledge of what kinds of things are most important and/or most urgent and whether to notify (which) crewmembers.
Several astronauts have expressed excitement in the Astronaut Agent and 2 are enthusiastically involved in the Phase II. We will demonstrate and test the Agent’s capabilities in Phase II, with JSC’s Mars Transit Vehicle Simulation (MTV Sim), MSU’s LabSat (actual satellite hardware (in a lab) which can have hardware faults induced), and the JSC Gateway simulation, headed by Julia Badger, who has expressed strong interest in integrating our Agent. The head of the NEEMO missions, Bill Todd, has expressed eagerness to allow our Agent to be used and evaluated by astronauts during a future NEEMO mission.
The Astronaut Agent is applicable to manned spacecraft such as the Gateway Habitat (and its associated elements such as the power propulsion element and lunar landing vehicles) and the MARS Transit Vehicle (MTV). MAESTRO capabilities within the Astronaut Agent for performing fault detection, diagnosis, recovery/reconfiguration/replanning, rescheduling, and adaptive execution are relevant to NASA unmanned spacecraft, either running onboard or on a ground station from the telemetry stream.
Commercial and DoD unmanned and manned spacecraft including Lockheed Martin’s Orion, SpaceX’s Crewed Dragon, Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft, and Blue Origin’s New Shepard Crew Capsule. Large complex facilities, such as power plants, refineries, power plant and refinery turnarounds, factories of all types, ship building, mining, and commercial aerospace.