The Experiment Control System for the Robot Operated Material Processing System (ROMPS) - Mission 1.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INST OF MICHIGAN ANN ARBOR
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The Robot Operated Material Processing System ROMPS was designed to make available to the microgravity research community the same tools and mode of automated experimentation that their ground-based counterparts have enjoyed for the last two decades. This design goal was accomplished by combining commercial automation tools familiar to the experimenter community with system control components that interface with the on-orbit platform in a distributed architecture. This architecture insulates the experimenter from the details of the on-orbit platform while providing the payload engineer with the tools necessary for managing a payload. By using commercial software and hardware components whenever possible, development costs were greatly reduced when compared to traditional space development projects. Using commercial components also improved the usability of the system by providing familiar user interfaces, providing a wealth of readily available documentation, and reducing the need for training on system-specific details. The modularity of the distributed architecture implemented for ROMPS makes it very amenable for modification to other on-orbit experiments requiring robotics-based automation.