Software Product Line Conference, International (2011)
Aug. 22, 2011 to Aug. 26, 2011
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/SPLC.2011.49
NASA is developing plans for innovative and novel approaches to future (unmanned) space exploration missions. Future missions involve sending spacecraft and robots to harsh environments, where resilience is necessary for the survival of the mission. In addition, distances and communication lead times between the spacecraft and Earth necessitate much of the mission operation being autonomous. We have been conducting research on the development of autonomous space exploration missions based on principles from Autonomic Computing (AC), whereby the mission is imbued with self-management capabilities. Such missions will involve several, rather than single, spacecraft, robots or other devices, operating in collaboration. We describe one such concept mission, ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), which involves a number of sub-missions that are self-similar. Our work in this, and other future missions, has involved the use of techniques from AC for building in self-management, and ultimately self-governance. We have also explored the use of formal methods to gain confidence in the correct behavior of the mission. Since both the physical devices which will be used for exploration, and the software that is essential for their successful deployment, lend themselves to a product-line approach, we have been exploiting techniques from software product-line engineering, in particular Multi-Agent System Product Lines (MAS-PL) and Dynamic Software Product Lines (DSPL).
software product lines, dynamic software product lines, multi-agent system product lines, autonomic computing
M. Hinchey, "Families (of Products) in Space," Software Product Line Conference, International(SPLC), Munich, Germany, 2011, pp. 8-9.