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Robotics Institute Seminar, May 1, 1998
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
412/268-8525 . 412/268-5576 (fax)

This page is provided for historical and archival purposes only. While the seminar dates are correct, we offer no guarantee of informational accuracy or link validity. Contact information for the speakers, hosts and seminar committee are certainly out of date.

Automatic On-board Planning for Autonomous Spacecraft

Nicola Muscettola
RECOM Technologies Incorporated
NASA Ames Research Center

Place and Time
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm

In the near future new exciting missions will make a disparate fleet of robotic spacecraft explore distant recesses of our solar systems and beyond. Autonomy will be crucial both to enable such missions (e.g., planetary submarines) and to dramatically cut mission operations costs. In this talk I will focus on on-board planning and scheduling, the ability of a spacecraft to autonomously expand detailed tasks when given abstract goals and to allocate limited time and resources to these commands. I will describe the planner/scheduler of the New Millenium Remote Agent (NMRA), a highly autonomous software architecture based on symbolic Artificial Intelligence techniques. In 1998 NMRA will be the first software control system to autonomously fly a deep space spacecraft. This very challenging application pushed us toward finding practical ways to solve the problem of insertion of AI planning into a large software system but also toward reconsidering some basic tenets of classical planning and scheduling research, such as the distinction between action and states. The result of our effort is a temporal planner/scheduler that operates with a generative algorithm from first principles. By generating plans with over one hundred tasks in a few minutes of CPU time the NMRA planner/scheduler constitutes one of the first examples of a working temporal, generative planner for a mission critical application.

Speaker Biography
Nicola Muscettola is a Senior Computer Scientist at the the Computational Sciences Division of the NASA Ames Research Center. He received his Diploma di Laurea in Electrical and Control Engineering and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is the principal designer of the HSTS planning framework and is the lead of the on-board planner team for the Deep Space 1 Remote Agent Experiment. His research interests include planning, scheduling, temporal reasoning, constraint propagation, action representations and knowledge compilation.

Speaker Appointments
For appointments, please contact the host, Steve Smith, at sfs@cs.cmu.edu.

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