The Module for Event Driven Operations for Spacecraft (MEDOS) provides a key advancement along the road to autonomous spacecraft operations: a simple, computationally lightweight method for integrating knowledge (be it human expertise, AI/ML based correlations, physical relationships, etc.) into an adaptable system for translating detectable events into spacecraft actions. MEDOS will be developed by a partnership between Aurora Engineering and the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP), forming a team with decades of experience in operational space flight missions.
MEDOS is an adaptable system for autonomous spacecraft control. It creates new telemetry points based on analytical combinations of current and previous raw telemetry. These derived telemetry points are compared mathematically to defined events. If the current derived telemetry is a close match to a defined event, then the associated operational activity is initiated. MEDOS provides a step on the path toward trusted spacecraft autonomy in a way that is flexible, simple, and informed by underlying physical relationships.
As NASA is currently developing distributed space missions (DSM), or missions further from Earth, the prospect of autonomy becomes more of a necessity.We aim to address this market need by providing a general purpose interface for autonomous, event driven operations. By leveraging MMS, a NASA flagship mission, we will demonstrate proficiency towards similar future missions (notably GDC and MagCon). Upon completion of a successful Phase 2 effort, we plan to have a hardware implementation of MEDOS that can be tested on a flight opportunity.
As commercial entities aim for “full coverage” of large areas of the planet, the need for autonomous operation of large scale distributed missions becomes increasingly attractive. We aim to market MEDOS as a commercial off the shelf (COTS) solution that can be easily integrated with existing commercial space flight architectures. The technology could also be applied to deep sea submersibles, etc.