Space-Based Assembly Sequence Formulation for Evaluation of Large Orbital Assemblies

by Steve Jolly, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


The challenges associated with constructing interplanetary spacecraft and space platforms in low earth orbit are such that it is imperative that comprehensive, preliminary process planning analyses be completed before committing funds for Phase B design (detail design, development). Phase A and 'pre-Phase A' design activities will commonly address engineering questions such as mission-design structural integrity, attitude control, thermal control, etc. But the questions of constructability, maintainability and reliability during the assembly phase usually go unaddressed until the more mature stages of design (or very often production) are reached. This is an unacceptable strategy for future space missions whether they be government or commercial ventures. After interviews with expert Aerospace and Construction industry planners a Blackboard Metaphor Knowledge-based Expert System simulation model has been developed to decompose a representative Mars interplanetary vehicle into deliverable orbital subassemblies. Constraint propagation is accomplished with heuristic and numerical algorithms using a reasoning technique adapted from the Stanford-developed Model-Based Reasoning paradigm. Early, promising results of this research are presented along with space-based orbital assembly metrics.

Subject Headings: Orbits | Space exploration | Algorithms | Aircraft and spacecraft | Expert systems | Numerical methods | Structural control | Knowledge-based systems

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