A Cloud Computing Infrastructure to Support xEMUs and Future EVAs



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


51st International Conference on Environmental Systems


EVAs are arguably one of the most dangerous parts of a mission. With the advent of xEMUs, the safety and toolkit of an astronaut is greatly augmented; however, there are still significant limitations imposed by the environment. This paper explores how we can utilize cloud-like technologies and infrastructures to assist an astronaut�s activities, augment the xEMU�s capabilities, and ultimately create a safer operational environment. OCTaVIA, or Operations Control, Translation, and Visual Interface Assistance, is a modular and robust system that incorporates industry standard technologies used in cloud architectures. The main architecture is inspired by a RAID-1 data storage and transfer system with a communications infrastructure, designed for disaster recovery and computational load balancing. OCTaVIA also serves localization purposes, utilizing multiple methods to pinpoint an astronaut�s position. We utilize a testbed composed of several Raspberry Pi and Jetson Nano devices which operate as nodes in a Kubernetes infrastructure, a system that automatically deploys, manages, and scales applications. Each of the nodes will be placed in the EVA workspace. The system offers distributed processing and communications through the Raspberry Pi devices, as well as GPU-intensive computing devices with Jetson Nanos. The system also integrates LiDAR technology to support remote as well as automated monitoring of EVA worksites. This manuscript describes OCTaVIA in detail focusing on its underlying IT architectures, and reports initial performance results of its location and distributed processing systems. We also report proof-of-concept data about our LiDAR-based systems aimed at terrain sensing and astronaut passive activity monitoring. The results support its viability as an infrastructure for an autonomous and resilient support system for astronauts during EVAs. OCTaVIA is part of ARGOS, a larger solution presented at ICES 2021 aimed at creating an information and communications management system that utilizes augmented reality to let astronauts interact with mission personnel and assets.


John Manlucu, University of Baltimore, US
Najya Ahsan, University of Baltimore, US
Ruth Robinson, University of Baltimore, US
Michael Vandi, University of Baltimore, US
Kaitlyn Baker, University of Baltimore, US
Giovanni Vincenti, University of Baltimore, US
ICES401: Extravehicular Activity: Systems
The 51st International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, on 10 July 2022 through 14 July 2022.


Cloud Computing, Distributed Computing, IoT, Serverless Computing