What are the advantages of remote agents?
There are many advantages of remote agents, including:
- Take advantage of science opportunities: If a satellite is close
to an interesting object, a ship with a remote agent has a better chance of
knowing what is there and seizing an opportunity to observe carefully. For
example, when orbiting Mars, a satellite might be searching for a beacon signal
from a rover. Quickly, without the delay it would take to get instructions
from Earth (nearly 20 minutes), it can decide to change its orbit to pass
over a spot where it had found a beacon in the past more frequently.
- Reduce spacecraft operation costs: Cassini, a satellite sent to
Jupiter, required a staff from 100-300 to operate acting systems full time.
This is quite pricey. DS1 can take care of itself and be monitored by a handful
of scientists except when it is near interesting objects. Most of space travel
is long stretches where there is not very much happening; sort of like a plane
flight on a clear, windless day.
- Keeping spacecraft working after faults: A lot can go wrong in space,
especially since a spacecraft will be working without human supervision for
years at a time. Most spacecraft have a fair amount of redundancy (lots of
backup systems), but even with those, knowing how to use the backup systems
can be hard. On a ship that has been damaged or had parts stop functioning,
the onboard planning engine can figure out how to accomplish its goals using
only the resources it has left. Remote agents can also be assigned to fix
faults, which clearly prolongs the working life of the spacecraft.
- Get more scientific data: Much of a traditional spacecraft's transmissions
are health data and other engineering information. Remote agents can react
to most of their engineering data themselves. This means more time sending
information to Earth can be devoted to scientific data.
What is a remote agent?
Is Remote Agent like the robots in science fiction movies?
How are satellites with no remote agent controlled?
does agent mean?
often does DS1 communicate with a ground station?
What is DS1's programmed
does NASA run space missions?
don't we just send astronauts on deep space trips?
kind of data is DS1 sending back?