Establishing Assessment Criteria for Intelligent Infusion of “Smart Systems” into a Space Habitat



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2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems


Deep-space habitats for future human exploration missions will require unprecedented levels of autonomy as Earth-reliance is reduced and self-sufficiency becomes increasingly necessary. Identifying the critical functions needed to support the crew when they are resident, and alternatively to keep the vehicle operational during potential uninhabited periods, is a first step toward assessing how to best meet these essential needs in a safe and efficient manner. From this functional framework, subsystems can be defined and associated operational tasks can then be allocated to either humans or automated systems, which can be accomplished via onboard or ground means. Incorporating ‘Smart Systems’ into the design offers an additional option moving beyond traditional approaches. These include emergent technologies in autonomous systems, dense sensor populations, data science, machine learning, robotic maintenance, and on-board manufacturing. This paper provides a systematic overview of functionally-driven design and operational principles for self-reliant spacecraft with intermittent human habitation, and classifies broad categories of candidate smart technologies for consideration. From this framework, infusion of these emergent technologies will be systematically assessed to guide ‘intelligent’ implementation of smart systems in the design and operation of a deep space habitat.


David Klaus, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Sophie Zaccarine, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Patrick Pischulti, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Annika Rollock, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
The proceedings for the 2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems were published from July 31, 2020. The technical papers were not presented in person due to the inability to hold the event as scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.


deep space human missions, space habitat design, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), Smart Systems