Functionally Aligning Emergent Technologies for Self-Sufficient Deep Space Smart Habitats



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51st International Conference on Environmental Systems


As the Artemis Program works to establish the Gateway in lunar orbit and a Base Camp on the moon, advancing emergent technologies for use in deep space habitats represents a next step towards enabling sustainable future exploration missions. The same basic functionality needed to keep the crew alive, healthy, happy and productive applies to a habitat design regardless of the ultimate destination � LEO, deep space, or planetary surfaces. With increasing mission durations and distances from Earth, however, future space habitats will require unprecedented levels of self-sufficiency to sustain operations due to impacts to ground communication links and limitations on resupply opportunities. To meet this challenge, autonomous and other emergent technologies including machine learning/Artificial Intelligence (AI), human-autonomy teaming, robotics, additive manufacturing, etc. offer unique solutions for performing the necessary functions by increasing onboard capabilities and decreasing reliance on Earth support. In this context, we refer to these technologies as collectively comprising a �Smart System� that combines elements of hardware, software, humans and/or processes as needed to meet the required onboard functions without external intervention. This paper defines a process that starts by identifying essential habitat functions from a generic deep space Concept of Operations (ConOps), then aligns each function with one or more optional means for accomplishing it. The solutions can range from ground-commanded actions to onboard manual or automated task allocation to incorporation of various autonomy-enabling emergent technologies. Criteria are then presented for characterizing the potential benefits of emergent technology design solutions to conduct Nominal Operations and Anomaly Responses as a decision-making strategy for comparing their performance to current state-of-the-art approaches. Finally, we summarize a select set of emergent technologies currently being evaluated for specific functions by our colleagues as part of the NASA �SmartHab� Space Research Institute (STRI) Habitats Optimized for Missions of Exploration (HOME) Project.


David Klaus, University of Colorado Boulder, US
Sophia Zaccarine, University of Colorado Boulder, US
Patrick Pischulti, University of Colorado Boulder, US
Annika Rollock, University of Colorado Boulder, US
ICES506: Human Exploration Beyond Low Earth Orbit: Missions and Technologies
The 51st International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, on 10 July 2022 through 14 July 2022.


Human Space Flight, Smart/Autonomous Systems, Self-Reliant Space Missions, Gateway, Artemis