Intelligent Rover Execution for Detecting Life in the Atacama Desert

Vijayakumar Baskaran, Nicola Muscettola, David Rijsman, Chris Plaunt, Chuck Fry

On-board supervisory execution is crucial for the deployment of more capable and autonomous remote explorers. Planetary science is considering robotic explorers operating for long periods of time without ground supervision while interacting with a changing and often hostile environment. Effective and robust operations require on-board supervisory control with a high level of awareness of the principles of functioning of the environment and of the numerous internal subsystems that need to be coordinated. We describe an on-board rover executive that was deployed on a rover as past of the Limits of Life in the Atacama Desert (LITA) field campaign sponsored by the NASA ASTEP program. The executive was built using the Intelligent Distributed Execution Architecture (IDEA), an execution framework that uses model-based and plan-based supervisory control as its fundamental computational paradigm. We present the results of the third field experiment conducted in the Atacama desert (Chile) in August – October 2005.

Subjects: 7.2 Software Agents; 17. Robotics

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