Planning extravehicular activity for the ISS

In March 2019, our company successfully completed the next stage of a major project on development of software for information support of extravehicular activity for one of our largest customers, Rocket and Space Corporation Energia. It is the leading Russian aerospace enterprise engaged in development of space and rocket systems, as well as other high-tech systems for various purposes, including different uses in non-space spheres.

Four companies are involved in the work on this project: Laser Systems, NAVIS, Interactive Systems, and Smart Solutions.

The goal of the project is to develop software for simulating the work of the ISS crew when performing extravehicular activities (EVA) in regular situations, as well as preparatory activities for EVA at the pre-flight preparation stage. Simulation is performed based on the photorealistic model of the International Space Station.

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Our company develops an algorithm for automating planning of extravehicular activity on the ISS and performs its software implementation.

Currently, planning of EVA is done by employees of RSC Energia in the manual mode, which, due to combination of a multitude of input parameters, imposes a number of restrictions on the qualitative analysis when constructing routes for extravehicular activities. The purpose of the work is automatic generation of scenarios for EVA, which solves the tasks of automatic installation of the recommended transition path when performing the EVA target tasks, and also forms the sequence of actions of EVA operators when working with equipment and tools (including when laying cable routes). The planning module develops several optimal schedules for each astronaut, taking into account minimization of the total duration of EVA and proportional load balancing of each crew member performing a spacewalk. Schedules are compiled on the basis of such input data as array of tasks, calendars of light and dark conditions, configuration of the ISS, rules and restrictions, etc. The module also provides online exit support mode with the ability to reschedule the rest of the scenario from the breakpoint. Further stages of project development provide for transition to pilot operation of the system.

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