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PI in the sky: The astronaut science advisor on SLS-2The Astronaut Science Advisor (ASA, also known as Principal-Investigator-in-a-Box) is an advanced engineering effort to apply expert systems technology to experiment monitoring and control. Its goal is to increase the scientific value of information returned from experiments on manned space missions. The first in-space test of the system will be in conjunction with Professor Larry Young's (MIT) vestibulo-ocular 'Rotating Dome' experiment on the Spacelab Life Sciences 2 mission (STS-58) in the Fall of 1993. In a cost-saving effort, off-the-shelf equipment was employed wherever possible. Several modifications were necessary in order to make the system flight-worthy. The software consists of three interlocking modules. A real-time data acquisition system digitizes and stores all experiment data and then characterizes the signals in symbolic form; a rule-based expert system uses the symbolic signal characteristics to make decisions concerning the experiment; and a highly graphic user interface requiring a minimum of user intervention presents information to the astronaut operator. Much has been learned about the design of software and user interfaces for interactive computing in space. In addition, we gained a great deal of knowledge about building relatively inexpensive hardware and software for use in space. New technologies are being assessed to make the system a much more powerful ally in future scientific research in space and on the ground.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hazelton, Lyman R.
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge., United States)
Groleau, Nicolas
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Frainier, Richard J.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Compton, Michael M.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Colombano, Silvano P.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Szolovits, Peter
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, The Seventh Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1993), Volume 1
Subject Category
Computer Programming And Software
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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