(This FAQ and Web portal reflects the PSA consortium’s view. The EC and REA are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains)
Q8 [OG2] [OG3]: The path planning functionality is included in OG2 (AF) or OG3 (CDFF)?
A: The path planning function is included in OG2. The OG2 AF will create a semantic model of its environment, describing the understanding of the rover’s situation with respect to surface-level hazards, objects, terrain and sites of interest in order to (re)plan optimum navigational paths and will implement the best possible course of navigation or action relative to the situation of the platform.
The OG3 (CDFF) is in charge of building a 3D model of the environment and the “Navigation” term corresponds here to the N letter in the GNC, that intends to provide the geometric/kinematic/dynamic state of a machine with respect to a reference frame (e.g. inertial frame) or its local environment through an estimation process that relies on a combination of processed data coming from absolute and/or relative sensors and a priori information.
Q9 [OG2] [OG3]: The Opportunistic Science capability is included in OG2 (AF) or OG3 (CDFF)?
A: The task of identify one object for scientific interest (by color, shape, composition etc) is included in the OG3 but it is the OG2 which take the decision of going to the scientific interest object and do the planning/(re)planning.
Q21 [OG2]: To which extent does the Autonomous Framework (AF) needs to provide support for collaboration between robots. The following reference in the planetary track “Rendezvous with the other planetary asset and achieve a final relative configuration that is compatible with the transfer of the module/sample to the desired destination by a manipulator arm” is a bit ambiguous.
A: I assume you’re referring to the specific phrase “other planetary asset”. In this case “asset” may mean: the lander / launcher; a sample that has been preserved by another robot that has visited the surface previously; a scout rover; any other man-made artefact. We do anticipate that robotic collaboration will be enabled by these technologies at some point in the future, but at this point, and for the purposes of this demonstration, it is simply one robot which we wish to see demonstrating autonomous planning capability. However, any allusion to the future exploitation of this technology in other key areas, such as machine<>machine collaboration, would not do any harm to the bid.
Q22 [OG2]: Is it necessary to implement the ground station and the user interfaces to demonstrate the different levels of autonomy (tele-presence, tele-manipulation, semi-autonomy, full autonomy) inside OG2?
A: It is not necessary for OG2 to implement the ground station. The OG2 shall be able to accept different levels of autonomy but the external control is outside the scope of OG2. For example, if the rover are going to be tested in tele-manipulation, the OG2 must be able to work and manage the resources with this level of autonomy, but is the OG6 which has to provide the necessary means for the tele-operation (joystick, graphical interface etc).
Q23 [OG2] [OG6] [All OGs]: What kind of testing is expected for OG2: simulation or with the robotic platform provided by OG6. In case it is the second, what kind of test should we think about? The problem is that, while this 2016 does not aim to fully integrate all OGs, OG2 strongly depends on OG1, OG3 and the rover or spacecraft. In consequence, if these are not integrated, then the OG2 would need to develop basic functionalities.
A: The test scenario for OG2 (and all other OGs) must be provided by OG6 in the test facilities (orbital servicing and planetary exploration platforms). It is the responsibility of OG6 to provide test facilities that are able and appropriate for all OG testing. That would include provision of a Mars-yard, a rover, etc. but also the operative system in which will be running the Autonomy Framework (OG2).
The full integration of the OGs are not going to be covered in this first call, but is for example the consortium of OG2 (AF) and OG1 (RCOS) consider that is better to do the final testing running the Autonomy Framework (OG2) over the RCOS (OG1) instead of other operative system this integration will be really welcome by PERASPERA PSA. Full integration is beyond the scope and funding of this call, but partial integration is recommended, as it will strengthen the ties across the SRC.
Q24 [OG1] [OG2]: Conflict between Functional layer and RCOS regarding FDIR, you mentioned in a previous email that in this call we should focus on the FD. However, the question remains on how to split FD responsibilities between OG1 and OG2?
A: the Autonomy Framework is responsible for the management of the system resources, IMO the AF would look after this. The OG1 will be responsible for the management of the faults of the operative system and the recovery.