Engineering Autonomous Space Software

Engineering Autonomous Space Software

[A Research Project Funded by EPSRC]


The Engineering Autonomous Space Software project is an EPSRC-funded collaboration between Computer Science researchers at the University of Liverpool and Autonomous Control Systems and Astronautics researchers at the University of Southampton. UK.



Two vacancies for post-doctoral researchers will be available here:



In this project we aim to tackle the general problem of engineering autonomous space systems. In particular, we are concerned with developing a new declarative programming methodology that will allow the control software for multiple, interacting, autonomous satellites to be produced in a clear, high-level way. The practicality of the methodology is to be demonstrated by programming hardware in a ground-based multi-satellite testbed.

The main objectives of the project are as follows.

  1. To develop a rational agent theory (and architecture), with the ability to carry out predictive modelling of continuous time (or variable sampling rate) phenomena, and to use these in planning.

  2. To augment this agent architecture with the ability to undertake multi-resolution and multi-layered modelling in order to reduce the time it takes for an agent to find a solution using its predictive modelling capabilities.

  3. To develop a declarative agent programming theory, and a practical language, that can handle real world control environments.

  4. To demonstrate the methodology on the Southampton Spacecraft Autonomy Testing (SAT) Facility. A rendezvous demonstration will be produced, involving 2 vehicles: active chaser and passive/active target, and demo will be extended (in simulation where needed) to more than 2 vehicles for future missions such as XEUS and PROBA-3.

Outputs Produced

None yet!

Project Details

  • Project duration: 42 months
  • Expected start date: Autumn 2008
  • EPSRC grant references

Relevant Links

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