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post Aug 25 2005, 11:22 AM
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4180840.stm

Europe has fixed on a concept for its next mission to land on the Red Planet.

It aims to send a single robot rover to the Martian surface along with another, stationary, science package.
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djellison
post Jun 13 2006, 09:58 PM
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Of course, with custom realtime OS's - the processing overheads for your average spacecraft are only a fraction of those for the OS's used by those 'mainstream' processors. I've not actually heard of computing performance being a limiting factor for spacecraft - but I may have missed such reports.

Doug
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mcaplinger
post Jun 14 2006, 02:24 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 13 2006, 02:58 PM) *
I've not actually heard of computing performance being a limiting factor for spacecraft - but I may have missed such reports.

Generally, Doug is right. There's a lot of semi-informed speculation on this thread, less real info. The RAD750's performance is comparatively poor from two factors: first, the process changes that make its internal registers immune from radiation-induced bit flips slow down the clock speed considerably, but more importantly, external components, also rad-hard, are running more slowly, as are the busses. The RAD750 on MRO doesn't even have an L2 cache and it's using a 33-MHz PCI bus.

If you wanted a non-mission-critical computing resource that didn't have to be totally bulletproof against radiation, there are many options, including commercial processors that happen to be latchup-immune and various gate arrays. For our MSL instruments we are using Xilinx FPGAs; clocked at 40 MHz they are many times faster at doing JPEG compression than code running on a fast desktop system would be.

Rover speed is typically limited more by the capabilities of the drivetrain and the overall power budget. It's not like MER would be going 50 KPH with a faster processor. Despite what AI people will try to tell you, we don't know how to write autonomous nav software regardless of how fast our processors are.

And finally, MIPS (aka "Meaningless Indicator of Processor Speed") is a bad metric for judging computer performance in this or any other problem domain.


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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RNeuhaus
post Jun 14 2006, 02:59 AM
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QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jun 13 2006, 09:24 PM) *
Rover speed is typically limited more by the capabilities of the drivetrain and the overall power budget. It's not like MER would be going 50 KPH with a faster processor. Despite what AI people will try to tell you, we don't know how to write autonomous nav software regardless of how fast our processors are.

And finally, MIPS (aka "Meaningless Indicator of Processor Speed") is a bad metric for judging computer performance in this or any other problem domain.

I was thinking that too. The AI is one of the software components which needs a fast CPU, lots of RAM in order to perform the harzard avoidance analyze more sophisticated and perform the required action with a much better performance as the MER does. A much improved AI will need much less from Earth remote direction and hence the rover will have greater autonomy to perform the core activities more productively in Mars.

It is true that the MIPS "Millions Instructions per Second" is an old comparision computing power that actualy is obsolete except it is only good to have an idea about how the younger brother computer is improved against the older brother if the model or serie is about the same.

Well, I seems like that the AI is a new field that must work harder to improve the space exploration by improving the autonomy capabiltity of probe or rover. If the microprocessor RAD750 is limited in its computing capability, so why don't put more microprocessors in parallel. The most powerfull computers work with many processors in parallel.

In few words, I think the AI is still very new and I speculate that in the future, the AI will play with a much greater importance. Imaginate that JPL tell the rover: "Please go there, over that dark spot and tell me what is that up? wink.gif

Rodolfo
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mcaplinger
post Jun 14 2006, 03:45 AM
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QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 13 2006, 07:59 PM) *
If the microprocessor RAD750 is limited in its computing capability, so why don't put more microprocessors in parallel.

Three answers: mass, power, and cost. A single flight RAD750 board uses tens of watts, weighs over a kilo (just for the board, not counting card cage, etc.) and costs, last time I checked, nearly a million dollars. And we don't need more cycles anyway.


QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Jun 13 2006, 08:23 PM) *
These days, I would take a look at AI development in the computer-game industry.

Games have driven graphics development, sure. But I would argue that there's nothing like real AI in any game out there. Real AI of a sort useful for rovers would be able to sense the environment and react/plan accordingly. Games just don't have to do that; they define the environment, there's no need to sense it.


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Posts in this topic
- Sunspot   ExoMars   Aug 25 2005, 11:22 AM
- - Marcel   They want to land that rover so badly......(which ...   Aug 25 2005, 01:21 PM
- - djellison   And why the american data realy - is MEX expected ...   Aug 25 2005, 01:39 PM
|- - Marcel   QUOTE (djellison @ Aug 25 2005, 01:39 PM)And ...   Aug 25 2005, 01:52 PM
- - RNeuhaus   What is MEX? I haven't heard of it. Will be gl...   Aug 25 2005, 02:43 PM
|- - Marcel   QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Aug 25 2005, 02:43 PM)What ...   Aug 25 2005, 02:52 PM
- - RNeuhaus   Ooppss, it is a smart word! Thanks Marcel.   Aug 25 2005, 02:54 PM
- - djellison   One thing space isnt short of it's Acronyms ...   Aug 25 2005, 02:56 PM
|- - Marcel   QUOTE (djellison @ Aug 25 2005, 02:56 PM)One ...   Aug 25 2005, 02:58 PM
||- - Marcel   QUOTE (Marcel @ Aug 25 2005, 02:58 PM)And you...   Aug 25 2005, 02:59 PM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (djellison @ Aug 25 2005, 09:56 AM)One ...   Aug 25 2005, 02:58 PM
- - Cugel   From the article: QUOTE a mass of 120kg for the ...   Aug 25 2005, 03:13 PM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (Cugel @ Aug 25 2005, 10:13 AM)From the...   Aug 25 2005, 03:20 PM
- - djellison   A straight copy of the Beagle 2 science payload wo...   Aug 25 2005, 03:25 PM
- - djellison   Oh MODY - some call it MO2k1- Mars Odyssey Doug   Aug 25 2005, 04:12 PM
- - SigurRosFan   Will SMILE fly to Mars with ESA's ExoMars?? h...   Aug 25 2005, 07:32 PM
- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE SigurRosFan(Posted Today, 02:32 PM) The ESA ...   Aug 25 2005, 08:02 PM
- - BruceMoomaw   One reason that NASA decided not to fly a 1-meter ...   Aug 25 2005, 08:28 PM
- - SigurRosFan   Sorry. Wrong link. MOA will fly definitely(...   Aug 25 2005, 08:44 PM
- - Rakhir   Alcatel Alenia Space starts the ExoMars mission de...   Jan 31 2006, 01:25 PM
|- - vikingmars   Here is the missing link : http://www.alcatel.com/...   Jan 31 2006, 03:05 PM
- - AlexBlackwell   Excerpt from the February 13, 2006, issue of Aviat...   Feb 13 2006, 11:39 PM
- - Rakhir   Europe Mars shot looks to upgrade http://news.bb...   Mar 16 2006, 01:07 PM
|- - AlexBlackwell   QUOTE (Rakhir @ Mar 16 2006, 01:07 PM) Eu...   Mar 16 2006, 06:00 PM
- - ljk4-1   The technology for this "lab on a chip" ...   Apr 25 2006, 02:51 PM
|- - tty   QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Apr 25 2006, 04:51 P...   Apr 25 2006, 08:43 PM
- - PhilHorzempa   Even though the American Mars program has been cut...   May 26 2006, 03:03 AM
|- - jamescanvin   QUOTE (PhilHorzempa @ May 26 2006, 01:03 ...   May 26 2006, 04:14 AM
|- - AndyG   QUOTE (jamescanvin @ May 26 2006, 05:14 A...   May 26 2006, 09:31 AM
||- - karolp   At the first sight what looks much different to me...   May 26 2006, 10:17 AM
||- - djellison   QUOTE (karolp @ May 26 2006, 11:17 AM) At...   May 30 2006, 12:22 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   Here's one I prepared earlier! Bob Shaw   May 26 2006, 11:43 AM
|- - ustrax   QUOTE (jamescanvin @ May 26 2006, 05:14 A...   May 26 2006, 01:40 PM
- - lyford   That's a really nice pic - looks like the dril...   May 26 2006, 04:00 AM
- - BruceMoomaw   I suspect ESA is not going to be able to come anyw...   May 26 2006, 04:39 AM
|- - Stephen   I notice the ExoMars rover as drawn in those pics ...   May 31 2006, 01:50 AM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (Stephen @ May 30 2006, 08:50 PM) I...   May 31 2006, 09:41 PM
- - remcook   QUOTE (lyford @ May 26 2006, 05:00 AM) Li...   May 26 2006, 08:48 AM
- - Cugel   And armed to kill! I wonder if the motors on ...   May 27 2006, 02:40 PM
|- - jamescanvin   QUOTE (Cugel @ May 28 2006, 12:40 AM) The...   May 28 2006, 01:27 AM
|- - Bob Shaw   I hope they have some way to pop the drill assembl...   May 28 2006, 01:36 AM
- - PhilCo126   Well, the ESA Marsrover ExoMars 2011 project is f...   May 30 2006, 11:40 AM
|- - jaredGalen   QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ May 30 2006, 11:40 AM)...   May 30 2006, 10:00 PM
- - ljk4-1   British Scientists Unveil Latest Craft To Search F...   Jun 13 2006, 12:53 PM
|- - ustrax   QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Jun 13 2006, 01:53 P...   Jun 13 2006, 01:07 PM
|- - ljk4-1   QUOTE (ustrax @ Jun 13 2006, 09:07 AM) Br...   Jun 13 2006, 01:59 PM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Jun 13 2006, 08:59 A...   Jun 13 2006, 03:58 PM
|- - helvick   QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 13 2006, 04:58 PM) ...   Jun 13 2006, 09:30 PM
- - Analyst   I am from Europe, but this article is cheap talk, ...   Jun 13 2006, 01:49 PM
|- - djellison   QUOTE (Analyst @ Jun 13 2006, 02:49 PM) I...   Jun 13 2006, 02:05 PM
- - Analyst   Good point.   Jun 13 2006, 02:31 PM
- - Redstone   Haven't seen this posted yet, so... You can d...   Jun 13 2006, 02:33 PM
|- - ustrax   Bridget: (origin: Gaelic.) Brighid, "fiery da...   Jun 13 2006, 02:48 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   QUOTE (Redstone @ Jun 13 2006, 03:33 PM) ...   Jun 13 2006, 05:54 PM
- - DonPMitchell   Space programs are fundamentally competative, whic...   Jun 13 2006, 04:35 PM
- - RNeuhaus   Helvick, Your comments are for Amen! Much impr...   Jun 13 2006, 09:53 PM
- - djellison   Of course, with custom realtime OS's - the pro...   Jun 13 2006, 09:58 PM
|- - helvick   QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 13 2006, 10:58 PM)...   Jun 13 2006, 10:29 PM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 13 2006, 02:58 PM)...   Jun 14 2006, 02:24 AM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jun 13 2006, 09:24 PM...   Jun 14 2006, 02:59 AM
||- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 13 2006, 07:59 PM) ...   Jun 14 2006, 03:45 AM
||- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jun 13 2006, 10:45 PM...   Jun 14 2006, 04:45 PM
||- - helvick   QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 14 2006, 05:45 PM) ...   Jun 15 2006, 04:49 PM
|- - helvick   QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jun 14 2006, 03:24 AM...   Jun 14 2006, 06:48 AM
- - lyford   Did someone say RAD 750 User Manuals? And much mo...   Jun 14 2006, 12:04 AM
- - monitorlizard   I'm an absolute idiot when it comes to compute...   Jun 14 2006, 01:43 AM
- - DonPMitchell   The Bell Labs inventor of UNIX, Ken Thompson, was ...   Jun 14 2006, 03:23 AM
|- - Bob Shaw   QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Jun 14 2006, 04:23 ...   Jun 14 2006, 09:34 AM
|- - DonPMitchell   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Jun 14 2006, 02:34 AM) ...   Jun 14 2006, 05:04 PM
- - RNeuhaus   Brits Unveil Latest Robot To Search For Life On Ma...   Jun 15 2006, 03:37 PM
- - hendric   What's your thoughts on the DARPA challenge? ...   Jun 16 2006, 05:49 AM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (hendric @ Jun 15 2006, 10:49 PM) W...   Jun 16 2006, 02:13 PM
- - djellison   We don't have a Mars GPS system, and we're...   Jun 16 2006, 06:20 AM
- - DonPMitchell   It would save a lot of time and planning if a rove...   Jun 16 2006, 07:17 AM
- - djellison   Don - have you seen the results of the Darpa chall...   Jun 16 2006, 09:01 AM
- - ljk4-1   Jim Bell said that during certain points of the da...   Jun 16 2006, 02:09 PM
- - djellison   To be fair - it was hardly a beautiful tarmac high...   Jun 16 2006, 02:38 PM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 16 2006, 07:38 AM)...   Jun 16 2006, 03:20 PM
|- - DonPMitchell   QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jun 16 2006, 08:20 AM...   Jun 16 2006, 07:26 PM
|- - Stephen   QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Jun 16 2006, 07:26 ...   Jun 23 2006, 12:32 PM
||- - djellison   QUOTE (Stephen @ Jun 23 2006, 01:32 PM) n...   Jun 23 2006, 12:39 PM
|- - Cugel   QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Jun 16 2006, 07:26 ...   Jun 23 2006, 02:42 PM
- - djellison   Oh - I quite agree ( and mentioned earlier ) there...   Jun 16 2006, 03:29 PM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 16 2006, 10:29 AM)...   Jun 16 2006, 04:06 PM
- - PhilCo126   Here's the cover of ESA BUlletin we talked abo...   Jun 22 2006, 11:07 AM
- - dvandorn   Cugel, we're talking about artificial *intelli...   Jun 23 2006, 05:24 PM
- - Greg Hullender   Has anyone proposed a manned mission for the purpo...   Jun 24 2006, 04:52 PM
|- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jun 24 2006, 11:5...   Jun 24 2006, 08:52 PM
||- - djellison   QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 24 2006, 09:52 PM) ...   Jun 24 2006, 08:58 PM
||- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 24 2006, 03:58 PM)...   Jun 25 2006, 01:29 AM
|- - elakdawalla   QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jun 24 2006, 09:5...   Jun 24 2006, 10:41 PM
- - remcook   I've heard people on message boards like these...   Jun 24 2006, 05:40 PM
- - djellison   I confess...I've driven every functional RRGTM...   Jun 24 2006, 10:54 PM
- - elakdawalla   Beautiful work, Doug! To get the TPS one t...   Jun 24 2006, 11:43 PM
- - elakdawalla   Question -- would faster microprocessors also requ...   Jun 25 2006, 01:39 AM
- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jun 24 2006, 08:39 P...   Jun 25 2006, 01:54 AM
- - mchan   Well, I wouldn't say definitely. In general, ...   Jun 25 2006, 05:19 AM
- - helvick   QUOTE (mchan @ Jun 25 2006, 06:19 AM) Rad...   Jun 25 2006, 10:09 AM
- - RNeuhaus   QUOTE (mchan @ Jun 25 2006, 12:19 AM) Wel...   Jun 26 2006, 12:12 AM
- - mchan   Sounds like a different Moore than the one I am fa...   Jun 26 2006, 09:13 AM
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