The Engineering Development Directorate at NASA Kennedy Space Center has designed, developed, and deployed a rule-based agent to monitor the Space Shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. The NASA Engineering Shuttle Telemetry Agent increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during ground processing of the Shuttle's subsystems. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream and automatically alerts system engineers when user defined conditions are satisfied. Efficiency and safety are improved through increased automation.
Sandia National Labs' Java Expert System Shell is employed as the agent's rule engine. The shell's predicate logic lends itself well to capturing the heuristics and specifying the engineering rules within this domain. The declarative paradigm of the rule-based agent yields a highly modular and scalable design spanning multiple subsystems of the Shuttle. Several hundred monitoring rules have been written thus far with corresponding notifications sent to Shuttle engineers. This chapter discusses the rule-based telemetry agent used for Space Shuttle ground processing. We present the problem domain along with design and development considerations such as information modeling, knowledge capture, and the deployment of the product. We also present ongoing work with other condition monitoring agents.
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