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Evaluating space station applications of automation and robotics technologies from a human productivity point of viewThe role that automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence will play in Space Station operations is now beginning to take shape. Although there is only limited data on the precise nature of the payoffs that these technologies are likely to afford there is a general consensus that, at a minimum, the following benefits will be realized: increased responsiveness to innovation, lower operating costs, and reduction of exposure to hazards. Nevertheless, the question arises as to how much automation can be justified with the technical and economic constraints of the program? The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology which can be used to evaluate and rank different approaches to automating the functions and tasks planned for the Space Station. Special attention is given to the impact of advanced automation on human productivity. The methodology employed is based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process. This permits the introduction of individual judgements to resolve the confict that normally arises when incomparable criteria underly the selection process. Because of the large number of factors involved in the model, the overall problem is decomposed into four subproblems individually focusing on human productivity, economics, design, and operations, respectively. The results from each are then combined to yield the final rankings. To demonstrate the methodology, an example is developed based on the selection of an on-orbit assembly system. Five alternatives for performing this task are identified, ranging from an astronaut working in space, to a dexterous manipulator with sensory feedback. Computational results are presented along with their implications. A final parametric analysis shows that the outcome is locally insensitive to all but complete reversals in preference.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bard, J. F. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: NASA/American Society for Engineering Educati
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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