SRC Operational Grants
The ESROCOS activity is devoted to the design of a Robot Control Operating Software (RCOS) that can provide adequate features and performance with space-grade Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) properties. The goal of the ESROCOS proposal is to provide an open source framework which can assist in the generation of flight software for space robots. By providing an open standard which can be used by research labs and industry, it is expected that the elevation of TRL levels can be made more efficient, and vendor lock-in through proprietary environments can be reduced.
Current state-of-the-art robotic frameworks are already addressing some of these key aspects, but mostly fail to deliver the degree of quality expected in the space environment. Terrestrial RCOS developed by industrial robot companies (e.g. VxWorks, PikeOS) are not usable for space robotics because their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforce the vendor’s dependency on space development. Other open-source frameworks do not have sufficient RAMS properties for its use in space missions.
The ESROCOS objectives are to:
1. Develop a Space-oriented RCOS including space-grade RAMS attributes, formal verification and qualification of industrial drivers.
2. Integrate advanced modelling technologies, separating the model from the platform
3. Focus on the space robotics community, with requirements coming from actors leading robotics missions
4. Allow integration of complex robotics applications by including the Time and Space partitioning approach
5. Avoid vendor-lock in situations by delivering an open-source solution
6. Leverage on existing assets, such as already existing frameworks properly extended, mature toolsets and libraries)
7. Ease the development of robotics systems by providing a solution interoperable with other robotics frameworks (e.g.
Rock/ROS third-party libraries and visualizers/simulator)
8. Cross-pollinate with non-space solutions and applications
European Robotic goal-oriented autonomous COntroller (ERGO) The specific objective of ERGO is thaen to deliver the most advanced but flexible space autonomous framework/system suitable for single and/or collaborative space robotic means/missions (orbital and surface rovers) demanding robust operations with adaptable levels of autonomy.
Due to the intrinsic similarities of addressed scenarios, especially for what concerns surface applications, ERGO has to be/and has been thought so to be applicable to terrestrial robotic applications requiring high level of autonomy.
In order to achieve this challenging objective, the ERGO team has been settled such to guarantee strong background both in robotics in general and operational autonomous space robotic missions (GMV, ADS, SciSys), as well as state of the art expertise in goal oriented autonomy (GMV), planning (King College, University of Basel, GMV), guidance and navigation for robotic applications (GMV, ADS, SciSys), formal validation and verification (UGA-UGA), on-board critical software design and development (GMV, Ellidiss).
InFuse aims to develop very essential data fusion capabilities (aka. Common Data Fusion Framework, or CDFF) that will serve in the context of many space robotics applications, on planetary surface as well as in orbit or other microgravity environments. The InFuse CDFF will be developed relying on the expertise of partners having tangible experience with a wide range of sensors data processing (Perception and Navigation related) and a wide range of robotic applications – both in space and terrestrial conditions.
InFuse makes provision for convenient and effective articulation with other SRC common building blocks – in particular: OG1 (RCOS), OG2 (autonomy framework) and OG4 (sensors suite). The solution proposed in InFuse to wrap and handle data fusion technologies and their produced data will make easy and effective their adoption by a wide range of users, both among the SRC stakeholders and in the wider space robotics community.
In particular, InFuse will not only provide access to an extensive set of robust data fusion capabilities, applicable both On-Orbit and Planetary scenarios, but will also include a data product management component allowing to retrieve and request conveniently (on-demand) relevant data such as maps, models of the environment or objects, possibly science data, etc.
The I3DS platform (Integrated 3D sensors) is a generic and modular system answering the needs of near-future space exploration missions in terms of exteroceptive and proprioceptive sensors with integrated pre-processing and data concentration functions. It consists in state-of-the art sensors and illumination devices integrated in a coherent architecture as inter-changeable building blocks and targeting a vast range of missions such as interplanetary missions,
formation flying missions, non-cooperative target capture such as debris removal missions, cooperative rendezvous: servicing & spacetugs, landers, rovers, etc…
The architecture of I3DS enables pushing the vision sensors as part of future exploration satellite platforms standard GNC units. It enables computing navigation solutions with on-board computers to be available for post-2020 missions autonomously from Ground. To do so, the data throughput provided by the sensors is pre-processed (filtering, compression, correction of distortions) by dedicated boards within I3DS. I3DS provides also an abstraction of the many electrical interfaces of the sensors by centralising the data flux using dedicated communication nodes. The mechanical interface is also simplified through the integration of the different sensors and boards in an integrated module.
The I3DS design enables easy and low-cost configurations and reconfigurations of a robotic platform for any mission using the modular sensors. The I3DS project intends to develop autonomous robotic platforms to achieve a large scope of spatial mission. Ultimately, three demonstrators will be tested in laboratory, thanks to appropriate tests benches and infrastructures in order to demonstrate the INSES concept modularity and performances.
The main objective is to develop a standard interface that considers a set of connections that allow coupling of payload to manipulators and payload to other payload.
The realization of a modular reconfigurable system depends, among other things, on interfaces, that includes mechanical interfaces connecting the blocks to one other, electrical interface for power transmission, thermal interfaces for heat regulation and interfaces to transmit data throughout the satellite.
Multi–‐functional “Intelligent” interface will be considered to interconnect building blocks and also to connect to the satellite with a servicer.
The standard interface will require standardization and modularization of the different components in an integrated form (where mechanical, thermal, electrical, data connections are combined) or a separated form. The standard interface shall allow building up large clusters of modules. APMs are considered for demonstration, validation and verification of all properties of the standard interface. An end-effector for a robotic manipulator will be designed according to the layout of the standard interface.
The Modular Interface will take into account long duration missions, no logistics support and missions composed of multiple payloads and architectures. Main benefits:
– Improve operational capacity
– Reduced logistics with common and modular spares
– Common maintenance standards
– IF architecture flexibility: common infrastructure needed to support the modular design
– Mission flexibility (configuration changes)
– Standardizes mechanical, data, electrical, thermal Interfaces
– Keep existing standards where applicable
– Introduce in the design aspects related to interchangeability and interoperability
The standard interfaces will allow to develop the SRC end goals. The output of this development will address the Future Low–‐cost EXchangeable/EXpandable/EXtendable SATellite, which targets the demonstration of robotics servicing technology.
The FACILITATORS goals are:
-To Enable the highest possible level of validation of the common building blocks (developed by concurring operational grants) in the most relevant environment by adapting and providing the best available European test facilities, as well as
-To Guarantee coherence among the different test facilities and among the building blocks by establishing common implementation/validation scenarios (to be reproduced during ground testing) and common interfaces with the test facilities.
More concretely, in order to achieve such goals, the objectives of our project are to:
1. Analyse and identify the validation needs of each building block
2. Identify and adapt the already-existing top-notch European test platforms that will form a “federation of facilities” which will host the validation tests of ALL building blocks in BOTH demonstration scenarios
3. Characterize the facilities and provide representative datasets to support the design and development of the
building blocks, carried out by concurring operational grants (OGs)
4. Ensure coherence among the different building blocks by agreeing on common demonstration scenarios that will be carried out within the federation of facilities, as well as by preparing common interfaces in coordination with the SRC board and the other parallel OGs
5. Provide easy access to the identified facilities, and ensure their availability when the building blocks will be tested
6. Assist the building blocks validation tests’ execution by providing monitoring and measuring means, as well as giving on-site support.
The “Federation of Facilities” concept lies in a network of coordinated, complementary and exchangeable state-of-theart facilities across Europe, identified, made available to the SRC, adapted and (if needed) enhanced for the scope of:
-Validating the building blocks developed in the other parallel operational grants and
-Providing regulated services to the space robotics community beyond this project.