ADAPTION FOR SPACE VEHICLES THROUGH ON-BOARD DIGITAL COMPUTER CONTROL.
Final Rept. Mar 63-Mar 64,
RADIO CORP OF AMERICA BURLINGTON MASS DEFENSE ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS
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Space mission effectiveness can be increased by providing vehicles with the ability to adapt to equipment failures and to unexpected events. The characteristic of adaptiveness can be incorporated into a vehicle through proper organization of datacommand flow combined with preplanning of responses to abnormal situations. The study has verified that these functions can be implemented in an on-board digital computer-controller. Concepts and terminology, system organization, methodology and measures of effectiveness were developed and applied to two model missions. Evaluation of a well defined rendezvous spacecraft clearly indicates that substantial increases in mission success may be obtained through computer controlled adaptation. A second analysis applies the same system organization to a complex manned vehicle of the 1970s in order to define a useful upper limit to control computer requirements. The major conclusion of the study is that the implementation of adaptation is feasible, effective and practical. Author