The Subfield Of Computer Science Computer Science

Essay add: 19-06-2017, 15:20   /   Views: 4

Artificial Intelligence is the subfield of Computer Science that tries to make machines more intelligent, by experimenting with new forms of logic and reasoning. The human settlement of Space requires good tools like AI mass spectrometer, and the best tools are intelligent machines. Just as the computers are present everywhere in space programs around the world for processing of information, advanced software will be applied in every aspect of the settlement of Space for which increased intelligence is very useful. Software like Casper, reasoning system and applications are discussed.


The Space Shuttle is used for orbital human spaceflight missions, operated by NASA. Space Shuttle consists of a dark orange-colored external tank (ET); two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs); and the STS Orbiter Vehicle (OV) which contains the crew and payload. There are two different booster stages developed for Space Transportation System (1 stage Payload Assist module (PAM) or 2 stage Inertial Upper stage (IUS)) for the launch of payloads into higher orbits.

AI mass spectrometers for space shuttle health monitoring

At Kennedy Space Centre, Hazardous Gas Detection System (HGDS) is a mass spectrometer based gas analyzer. We can use two instruments to make up the HGDS, which is installed in a prime/backup arrangement, with the option of using both analyzers on the same sample line, or on two different lines simultaneously. If necessary, it is used for monitoring the Shuttle during fuel loading, countdown, and drain back. The problems in tracking the status of the ground support equipment and the vehicle, has caused by the use of complex instruments, operated over many shifts. A requirement for overall system reliability has been a major force in the development of Shuttle GSE, and is the ultimate driver in the choice to pursue artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for Shuttle and Advanced Launch System (ALS) mass spectrometer systems.

Space Shuttle AI Software Commercialized

An artificial intelligence (AI)-based software system developed to help NASA with complex space shuttle scheduling decisions is commercialized by the San Mateo, California Company Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. (SHAI).

By using AI techniques, The Automatic Scheduling System, known as the Automated Manifest Planner (AMP) was designed at Kennedy Space Centre, allowing expert shuttle schedulers to input their knowledge to create a working automatic scheduling system.

The Uses of Computers in Space Shuttle

Computers are used in spaceflight for three purposes:

  • To reduce costs,
  • Reduce risks, and
  • Increase capability.

The most significant form of cost reduction lies in minimizing ground operations. For example, scientists at NASAs Ames Research Centre developed an artificial intelligence program to automate scheduling of the space shuttle ground processing, a task with roughly 10,000 steps. The program saved time and money.

The speed and reliability of computers have enabled complex space missions and a plan for attaining a particular goal such as bringing the space shuttle back from orbit to take place with a reduced risk of failure.

During the design stage, computer simulations search for problems and computerized failure analysis techniques estimate the probability of failure and point out areas to improve which increases the capability of computers.

Kinds of robotic control in space shuttles

There are two kinds of robotic control: telerobotic and autonomous.

In telerobotic control The movements of a robot is guided by human in another location via radio signals. An example is Robonaut, a human-sized robot with two arms and hands, a head, a torso, and one leg. Under development at NASAs Johnson Space Centre, Robonaut is designed to carry out space walks under the control of a human in the safe environment of the space station or on the ground. Robonaut has hundreds of sensors, giving the human operator a feeling of actually ``being there.''

Autonomous control is used when a telerobotic link would be too slow or too expensive to maintain. For example, Mars is typically about twenty minutes away from Earth by radio communication, and rovers on the Martian surface are designed to have some autonomous control over their own actions. Autonomous robots are also useful as assistants to humans. An example is the Personal Satellite Assistant, a softball-sized robot designed to float in the weightless environment of the space station. It is designed to propel itself by using ducted fans, take pictures, analyze temperature and gas levels, and communicates by voice control. It can check on the status of the station and assist astronauts in doing experiments, using a combination of autonomous and telerobotic control.

A-Prolog decision support system for the Space Shuttle is used for system controlling some of the functions of space shuttles.

Procedural Reasoning System

It is a framework for constructing real-time reasoning systems that can perform complex tasks in dynamic environments in AI.

The application of the PRS was a monitoring and fault detection system for the Reaction Control System (RCS) on the NASA space shuttle. The RCS provides propulsive forces from a collection of jet thrusters and controls attitude of the space shuttle. A version of the PRS was used to monitor the Reaction Control System on the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery.

Examples of AI systems used in space shuttle missions
  • Abacus-developed expert systems.
  • Abacus-developed expert systems are used in a variety of business and industry environments, solving complex problems daily. Our expert systems assist in the planning of Space Shuttle missions, identify faulty components in electronic circuits for technicians, and help software designers interpret and validate software.

    The Abacus AI Methodology provides techniques for systematically identifying and implementing practical systems which result in measurable productivity increases and cost benefits.

    The Abacus AI Opportunity Study is a low-cost service which enables companies to identify AI applications with real payoffs.


AI software, known as Continuous Activity Scheduling, Planning Execution and Replanning (CASPER), is being used in a range of projects including autonomous spacecraft, autonomous rovers, ground communications station automation, and uninhabited aerial vehicles. It will have the ability to make real-time decisions based on the images it acquires and send back only those that it considers important.

Moreover, when a satellite faces hazards in space, perhaps an intense solar storm or unexpected blurry vision, mission engineers must come up with new computer instructions from scratch and send them to the probe.

But the new software will enable spacecraft to attempt to come up with their own solutions, rather than rely on time-consuming assistance from Earth.

Applications of use of AI in Space Shuttles
  • Artificial Intelligence Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
  • "The Artificial Intelligence Group performs basic research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling, with applications to science analysis, spacecraft commanding, deep space network operations, and space transportation systems."

  • DART
  • "The Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology", or DART, in Marshall Space Flight Centre is a flight demonstrator vehicle designed to test technologies required to locate and meet with other spacecraft. The DART mission is unique because all of the operations will be autonomous - there will be no astronaut onboard at the controls, only computers programmed to perform functions.

  • NESTA: NASA Engineering Shuttle Telemetry Agent
  • The Electrical Systems Division at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre has developed and deployed an agent-based tool to monitor the space shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. It increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during ground processing of the shuttle's subsystems. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream and automatically alerts system engineers when predefined criteria have been met.

The possible space missions of NASA using AI
  • Mars Explorers May Use AI to Become 'Cyborg Astrobiologists'
  • The future exploration of Mars (and other planets) may employ the use of artificial intelligence integrated into spacesuits to enhance the ability of astronauts in taking scientific data while exploring. The AI assistance could help future astronauts exploring planets to recognize differences in their surroundings as being due to the presence of life.

  • SPIFe software
  • New software is under development for daily team use during upcoming Mars surface missions. This software is called the 'Science Planning Interface for Engineering' (SPIFe). Scientists hope it will "dramatically" reduce the number of people needed to achieve mission goal.

This software could help astronauts work independently far from Earth.

SPIFe enables users to view information in many different ways so scientists can better see and grasp problems and processes.

Skylon space shuttle just ten yearsaway

This is the next generation high tech Space Shuttle that takes off from an ordinary runway and it also cuts the cost of flying to space.

Unlike most currently launch technology, the unmanned, 82-metre plane is totally reusable. NASA's Space Shuttle is partly reusable and can carry 24.4 tonnes of cargo to low Earth orbit, but has to be launched like a conventional rocket at phenomenal expense. This also serves as a purpose of space tourism and carry pilot along with 30 passengers.


Machines with increased cognitive abilities will be used in the design, manufacturing, control, and diagnosis of every piece of Space hardware. They will increase reliability and capability, and will lower costs. As they become more autonomous, intelligent machines may replace humans in tasks which are too tedious, dangerous or costly. In that role, Artificial Intelligence will be one of the most important tools in the human settlement of Space.


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