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Curiosity's Autonomous Surface Safing Behavior DesignThe safing routines on all robotic deep-space vehicles are designed to put the vehicle in a power and thermally safe configuration, enabling communication with the mission operators on Earth. Achieving this goal is made a little more difficult on Curiosity because the power requirements for the core avionics and the telecommunication equipment exceed the capability of the single power source, the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. This drove the system design to create an operational mode, called "sleep mode", where the vehicle turns off most of the loads in order to charge the two Li-ion batteries. The system must keep the vehicle safe from over-heat and under-heat conditions, battery cell failures, under-voltage conditions, and clock failures, both while the computer is running and while the system is sleeping. The other goal of a safing routine is to communicate. On most spacecraft, this simply involves turning on the receiver and transmitter continuously. For Curiosity, Earth is above the horizon only a part of the day for direct communication to the Earth, and the orbiter overpass opportunities only occur a few times a day. The design must robustly place the Rover in a communicable condition at the correct time. This paper discusses Curiosity's autonomous safing behavior and describes how the vehicle remains power and thermally safe while sleeping, as well as a description of how the Rover communicates with the orbiters and Earth at specific times.
Document ID
20150007989
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Neilson, Tracy A. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Manning, Robert M. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 12, 2015
Publication Date
September 12, 2013
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Meeting Information
AIAA SPACE 2013 Conference & Exposition(San Diego, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
MSL
Mars Science Laboratory
safe mode