Singularity-IA proposes the development of a proof-of-concept software application to design fault detection and mitigation functions into complex systems using modelling, simulation, intelligent design automation, and requirements-based constraints to assist with the design of optimal Fault Management (FM) solutions.
FM solutions are an important enabler of autonomous operation. They help reduce operations costs by reducing the number of required monitoring personnel and help increase the chances of success by ensuring a rapid response to faults.
NASA’s science program has over 100 spacecraft in operation or development. Many of these platforms are autonomous, or uncrewed, and many other agencies (both government and commercial) around the world are launching spacecraft of their own. The industry for autonomous vehicles is growing rapidly and expected to transform all aspects of travel on the ground, in the air, and in space. FM technologies are necessary to keep people safe and to keep things running.
The design process needs to integrate FM concepts from the beginning, and we plan to develop a proof-of-concept tool that makes this easier. Our plan is to replicate an analogous spacecraft power system on a real-world test stand and develop the tools and capability to model and simulate this test stand with various fault conditions. We will use this ability to determine the ideal design to achieve FM objectives, then build a real-world version of the FM system and test it in the real-world power test stand.
This approach ties a modelling and simulation capability to a real-world system, which allows us to assess performance of the approach. We will leverage existing tools and capabilities where possible, and add new features where required. Broad simulation testing and intelligent design automation will simplify and accelerate the design process ensuring that engineers can create more reliable and fault tolerant systems in less time than before.
NASA can incorporate this toolset and capability into the design of all the crewed and uncrewed systems they are developing. It will provide value in reduced operations costs for the uncrewed systems, and it will provide reliability and safety improvements for crewed systems. This means the crew can spend less time monitoring and maintaining the vehicle and more time focusing on exploration and ground-breaking science. Sudden unexpected failures shouldn’t leave people stranded and FM technologies can help get them home.
The toolset and capability to seamlessly integrate FM technologies is important for designers of autonomous vehicles in both the defense and commercial industries. The fast-growing market for self-driving cars provides a fantastic opportunity to roll out these technologies on a large-scale and demonstrate improved vehicle robustness and reliability.