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The Evolution of Software and Its Impact on Complex System Design in Robotic Spacecraft Embedded SystemsThe growth in computer hardware performance, coupled with reduced energy requirements, has led to a rapid expansion of the resources available to software systems, driving them towards greater logical abstraction, flexibility, and complexity. This shift in focus from compacting functionality into a limited field towards developing layered, multi-state architectures in a grand field has both driven and been driven by the history of embedded processor design in the robotic spacecraft industry.The combinatorial growth of interprocess conditions is accompanied by benefits (concurrent development, situational autonomy, and evolution of goals) and drawbacks (late integration, non-deterministic interactions, and multifaceted anomalies) in achieving mission success, as illustrated by the case of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Approaches to optimizing the benefits while mitigating the drawbacks have taken the form of the formalization of requirements, modular design practices, extensive system simulation, and spacecraft data trend analysis. The growth of hardware capability and software complexity can be expected to continue, with future directions including stackable commodity subsystems, computer-generated algorithms, runtime reconfigurable processors, and greater autonomy.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Butler, Roy
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
April 10, 2015
Publication Date
March 19, 2013
Subject Category
Computer Programming And Software
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Spacecraft Instrumentation And Astrionics
Meeting Information
Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research(Atlanta, GA)
Distribution Limits
No Preview Available