Future Constellation mission concepts will require a new suite of scheduling and planning tools that deliver improvements to current state-of-the-art technology and processes, including but not limited to: (a) the ability to plan and reason about complex constraint networks on long-range, mid-range, and tactical real-time schedules, (b) the ability for human operators to effectively manipulate and explain schedules generated by automated planning software, and ultimately (c) the ability for the crew to assume the scheduling and planning roles currently reserved for ground personnel. The overarching goal was to develop a technology to assist with scheduling, planning, and training of the astronauts when they are working and living during long-duration space flight missions. The findings of this study will help determine whether additional countermeasures are needed due to the impact of autonomy.
Objectives of the tool:
1. Provide a fully-functional scheduling and planning system that can be easily used by the users and staff personnel to support both ground and flight activities.
2. Provide NEEMO crewmembers with the capability to plan and organize their tasks to fit their needs in real-time within given and developing constraints.
For NEEMO 14, the following were tested using the SPIFE tool:
1. Ability to create and maintain the timeline schedule
2. Ability to track actual duration times of scheduled activities
3. Effectiveness during degraded communication (the ease with which the crew can maintain and edit their schedule with SPIFE)
Results from the data were mixed, due in part to technical difficulties. However, the above items were tested and were generally supported. Future work on the SPIFE will be focused on fine-tuning the systems and the features that are utilized with this tool as well as incorporating feedback received from the participants to improve the tool’s design and functionality.