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Automated planning and scheduling technology offers great promise in enabling revolutionary goal-based autonomous spacecraft. Such a spacecraft would be aware of its goals and would automatically select and perform activities to achieve these goals. Goals would include science goals (for example, performing a mapping campaign using the ultraviolet spectrometer) and engineering goals (for example, maintaining the propulsion system's health). Because planning and scheduling technology would allow goal-based commanding, it would enable a dramatic reduction in operations costs, as well as onboard response to faults or science opportunities occurring during the mission. This article describes how automated planning and scheduling technology enables a new class of autonomous spacecraft and describes ongoing efforts at NASA to develop and deploy this technology.
Nicola Muscettola, Gregg Rabideau, Benjamin Smith, Steve Chien, Kanna Rajan, "Automated Planning and Scheduling for Goal-Based Autonomous Spacecraft", IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 13, no. , pp. 50-55, September/October 1998, doi:10.1109/5254.722362
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