Addressing the needs of Mars exploration missions in the NASA’s strategic plan will require robust and effective autonomous collaborative operations between heterogeneous assets. These “swarms” may consisting of ground rovers, atmospheric craft and Mars-orbiting satellites. To maximize the satisfaction of overall mission objectives, be tolerant of faults/anomalies, and minimize the time to opportunistically respond to ad-hoc events, assets will need to share a common relevant operating picture (CROP) containing a consistent view of team states, objectives, plans and key events.
Orbit Logic is teamed with the University of Colorado to develop the Mars/Interplanetary Swarm Design and Evaluation Framework (MISDEF). The solution leverages existing, proven tools and software - enabling flexible composition of collaborative mission concepts and then assessing them in an open simulation environment. The initial focus of MISDEF build-out is satellite clusters in Mars orbit, utilizing distributed data fusion (DDF) to maintain a high-degree of orbital state knowledge with minimal (and in some cases zero) data exchange. The solution will also accommodate surface and atmospheric assets. Team awareness is critical to coordinating activities to achieve high-level mission goals while optimizing the use of asset resources. Orbit Logic’s Autonomous Planning System (APS) operates atop the DDF-enabled CROP to perform this decision-making, planning and team orchestration functions.
Missions enabled by collaborative teams of heterogeneous, networked assets including: Planetary surface exploration missions including survey, sampling, sensor-centric characterization. Surface collaborative tasks such as infrastructure construction/repair. Planetary orbital asset collaboration for optimized or event-based space-ground sensor collection and processing. Convoys of spacecraft en-route to solar system destinations, coordinating science gathering and adapting team behaviors to compensate for faults/anomalies.
Collaborative Earth observing satellite constellations, coordinated space/ground sensor systems supporting enhanced space situational awareness, coordination of data chain orchestration for data analytics, collaborative autonomous maritime (surface and underwater) missions, coordination of teams of ground orbits and/or air vehicles for science, search/rescue. Military instantiations of all.