Human-rating Automated and Robotic Systems — How HAL Can Work Safely with Astronauts 2009-01-2527
Long duration human space missions, as planned in the Vision for Space Exploration, will not be possible without applying unprecedented levels of automation to support the human endeavors. The automated and robotic systems must carry the load of routine “housekeeping” for the new generation of explorers, as well as assist their exploration science and engineering work with new precision. Fortunately, the state of automated and robotic systems is sophisticated and sturdy enough to do this work — but the systems themselves have never been human-rated as all other NASA physical systems used in human space flight have.
Our intent in this paper is to provide perspective on requirements and architecture for the interfaces and interactions between human beings and the astonishing array of automated systems; and the approach we believe necessary to create human-rated systems and implement them in the space program. We will explain our proposed standard structure for automation and robotic systems, and the process by which we will develop and implement that standard as an addition to NASA's Human Rating requirements.
Our work here is based on real experience with both human system and robotic system designs; for surface operations as well as for in-flight monitoring and control; and on the necessities we have discovered for human-systems integration in NASA's Constellation program. We hope this will be an invitation to dialog and to consideration of a new issue facing new generations of explorers and their outfitters.