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Technical Paper

Human-rating Automated and Robotic Systems — How HAL Can Work Safely with Astronauts

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.
Technical Paper

Human-Centric Teaming in a Multi-Agent EVA Assembly Task

NASA's Human Space Flight program depends heavily on spacewalks performed by pairs of suited human astronauts. These Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) are severely restricted in both duration and scope by consumables and available manpower. An expanded multi-agent EVA team combining the information-gathering and problem-solving skills of human astronauts with the survivability and physical capabilities of highly dexterous space robots is proposed. A 1-g test featuring two NASA/DARPA Robonaut systems working side-by-side with a suited human subject is conducted to evaluate human-robot teaming strategies in the context of a simulated EVA assembly task based on the STS-61B ACCESS flight experiment.
Technical Paper

Human and Robotic Enabling Performance System Development and Testing

With a renewed focus on manned exploration, NASA is beginning to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. Future manned missions will require a symbiosis of human and robotic infrastructure. As a step towards understanding the roles of humans and robots in future planetary exploration, NASA headquarters funded ILC Dover and the University of Maryland to perform research in the area of human and robotic interfaces. The research focused on development and testing of communication components, robotic command and control interfaces, electronic displays, EVA navigation software and hardware, and EVA lighting. The funded research was a 12-month effort culminating in a field test with NASA personnel.
Technical Paper

First Astronaut - Rover Interaction Field Test

The first ever Astronaut - Rover (ASRO) Interaction Field Test was conducted successfully on February 22-27, 1999, in Silver Lake, Mojave Desert, California in a representative surface terrain. This test was a joint effort between the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California and the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas to investigate the interaction between humans and robotic rovers for potential future planetary surface exploration. As prototype advanced planetary surface space suit and rover technologies are being developed for human planetary surface exploration, it is desirable to better understand the interaction and potential benefits of an Extravehiclar Activity (EVA) crewmember interacting with a robotic rover. This interaction between an EVA astronaut and a robotic rover is seen as complementary and can greatly enhance the productivity and safety of surface excursions.
Technical Paper

EVA Operational Enhancements and ASEM

Among the many firsts which will occur on STS-49, the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a Space Station Freedom (SSF) experiment entitled Assembly of Station by Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Methods (ASEM) promises to test the boundaries of EVA operational capabilities. Should the results be favorable, station and other major users of EVA stand to benefit from increased capabilities. Even the preparation for the ASEM experiment is serving as a pathfinder for complex SSF operations. This paper reviews the major tasks planned for ASEM and discusses the operational analogies investigators are attempting to draw between ASEM and SSF. How these findings may be applied to simplify station assembly and maintenance will also be discussed.