Building spacecraft and conducting missions are very expensive. The technology of Remote Agent has the potential to significantly cut costs in both areas.
It is very time-consuming, and therefore expensive, to perform the complex task of programming the flight software which helps run the spacecraft. Remote Agent is a unique piece of software in that it is based on models. Each specialized part on the spacecraft is programmed separately with how it works, its behavior, and what happens when it fails. If there are last-minute changes in the plan of the spacecraft, instead of having to scrap the whole program, just the part that changed needs to be altered. In the same way, the program can be reused for different spacecraft rather than having to write a new program. This can save much money in the long run.
Running a mission is also expensive. If a mission is run by ground control, it must have frequent communication with Mission Control via the Deep Space Network (DSN). There is much demand for DSN bandwidth and it is very expensive. Maintaining ground controllers around the clock to communicate with the spacecraft is also expensive. Remote Agent can generate and execute its own plans, and correct many of its own failures without communicating with ground control. By cutting down on the amount of communication a spacecraft must have with Earth, the cost of the mission is greatly decreased.
What are the advantages of remote agents?
Why was Remote Agent chosen to go on DS1?
How are satellites with no remote agent controlled?
How are remote agents used?
What is DSN?
How does NASA run space missions?
What are the distinguishing characteristics of agents as opposed to a normal program?
Why is a small bandwidth good?
What is bandwidth?
How is NASA overseeing the DS1 mission?