2018 Workshop on Autonomy for Future NASA Science Missions

Artist depiction of Mars Rover 2020
This artist's concept depicts NASA's Mars 2020 rover exploring Mars. The mission will not only seek out and study an area likely to have been habitable in the distant past, but it will take the next, bold step in robotic exploration of the Red Planet by seeking signs of past microbial life itself.Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Workshop Dates: October 10-11, 2018
Location: Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The 2018 Workshop on Autonomy for Future NASA Science Missions will convene key technical leaders from industry, academia, and NASA to specifically identify how autonomy can impact NASA mission development. A set of reference missions that require a level of autonomy that does not currently exist has been identified and will provide context for the workshop discussions. Workshop participants will identify key technologies required to enable the reference missions and review potential development paths, including technology demonstrations that could be accomplished in the next 5-7 years.

Specifically, the workshop will:

  • Identify industrial capabilities coming online in the coming 5-7 years for key applications analogous to NASA missions. Examples may include such applications as autonomous decision making by mobile platforms (e.g. self-driving cars), autonomous mining of large data sets, and others.
  • Identify the similarities and differences between industrial capabilities and those specific to NASA requirements and environments. Describe the similarities and differences at both the subsystem/component level, as well as the broader system level.
  • Assess the impact that these capabilities will have on the set of reference missions; outline the timeframe when the technologies can impact mission development and assess the scope of the impact.
  • Identify key technology areas that have the potential to be infused into NASA missions, including the timeframe and scope of development.


Please continue to check this Web page for additional information and updates about this workshop.