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NASA's swarm missions: the challenge of building autonomous software

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4 Author(s)
Truszkowski, W. ; Adv. Architectures & Autom., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Hinchey, M. ; Rash, J. ; Rouff, C.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduces its new millenium mission class. Motivated by the need to gather more data than is possible with a single spacecraft, scientists have developed a new class of missions based on the efficiency and cooperative nature of a hive culture. The missions, aptly dubbed nanoswarm is a little more than mechanized colonies cooperating in their exploration of the solar system. Each swarm mission can have hundreds or even thousands of cooperating intelligent spacecraft that work in teams. One swarm mission under concept development for 2020 to 2030 is the autonomous nano technology swarm (ANTS). For software and systems development, this is uncharted territory that calls for revolutionary techniques.

Published in:

IT Professional  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 5 )