CfP: ESA Workshop on On-Board Autonomy

Subject: CfP: ESA Workshop on On-Board Autonomy
From: Alexander Nareyek (
Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 08:45:56 MET

Preliminary Announcement and
Call for Contributions

                     ESA Workshop on

                   "On-Board Autonomy"

                17, 18, 19th October 2001
            ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

                            Organised by the
                            European Space Agency (ESA)
                            Directorate of Technical and
                            Operational Support Control &
                            Data Systems Division (DTOS-ES)

The Directorate of Technical and Operational Support of the
European Space Agency (ESA) is organising the first Workshop on
On-Board Autonomy. The workshop will be held from October 17th
to 19th, 2001, at the European Space Research and Technology
Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.


The objectives of the On-Board Autonomy workshop are the
1) To address a pressing need for innovation and to
  raise awareness within the European space community,
  - autonomy domains and requirements for upcoming space
  - currently available mature technology,
  - verification and validation techniques for such mission-
  critical software systems
  - current state of the art and (in-flight) autonomy
  demonstration in Europe and in the USA

2) To assess key issues in mission acceptance for
  such advanced technologies

3) To stimulate the co-operation between the Space and
  Research Communities as also small businesses to solve
  critical problems in fielding such advanced concepts in
  (especially it requires independent reusable expertise &
  synergy with other domains like robotics, industrial
  production, aeronautics, transportation)

The workshop will solicit participation from the following
  1) European space industries and space agencies (incl.
     european commission)
  2) Specialised technology laboratories or small companies
  3) Researchers in academia around the world
  4) Ground operators and payload investigators
  5) Mission and Project managers

The workshop will attempt to provide recommendations on suitable
technologies, available or being developed in the ESA member
states, and which should be included in future ESA-managed
research activities, in support of space mission users,
operators and spacecraft and mission designers. Although the
workshop concentrates on techniques for onboard operation &
control, ground based-operations which are of major importance,
will also be considered if they contribute towards extending
autonomous operations concepts in space.


The scope of the workshop will include (but not be restricted
to) 4 major thrusts:

  1. In flight Autonomy demonstration (past, present &
     future) for single or multi-spacecraft missions, and to
     include demonstrated capabilities and lessons learned
     from such experiences in the past.

  2. Requirements for future space missions and necessary
     evolution of On-Board Autonomy
      The workshop will attempt to identify
      - usefulness of onboard space autonomy, "mission
        customised vs. generic framework" for reuse
      - suitable target missions for deploying "system
        autonomy", on ground and/or on board.
      - mission & spacecraft operation / control automation,
        from the perspective of lessons learned, expected new
        capabilities & services, support for complex missions and
        payloads, new approaches to mission operations and to
        maintenance, return to investment versus risk
      - assess criticality and reactivness, additional
        flight software constraints, verification and validation,
        support tools (e.g. decision support tools, complexity
        analysis tools for worst case predictability, data bases
  3. Technology support to automated operations, decision
     process, and goal oriented commanding
      - Techniques in Planning & Scheduling, Constraint Based
          Reasoning dealing with metric time and resources.
      - Decision Process (in uncertain and/or uncompleted
        environment, deliberative vs. reactive,), Machine
        Learning (e.g. reinforcement learning)
      - Distributed real time & fault tolerant discrete
        control (time or event driven)
      - Smart monitoring and fault diagnosis (bayesian
        networks, inductive inference, model based, etc..)
      - Verification & Validation tools, techniques and
      - Issues in Adjustable Autonomy and mixed-initiative
      - Decision support tools for mission design,
        simulation-based testing and risk mitigation.
      - In-situ science data analysis;
      - Planning and scheduling of scientific experiments,
        observations, and payload operations.
      - Evolution of the mission operation practice
        (necessary insertion of human operators from learnt

  4. Technology support to advanced Guidance, Navigation,
      - State Estimation and Multi-Rate Sensor Data Fusion
      - Attitude determination & Orbitography
      - Absolute and relative navigation
      - Adaptive control
      - Control of formation flying (e.g. high accuracy
        pointing pattern maintenance, etc..)

The workshop will be a three-day event (17th, 18th, 19th October
2001), with parallel sessions. Emphasis will also be given to
demonstrations and exhibits from industry and academia.

The first day (17th Oct. 2001) will be devoted to the space
domain requirements and evolution for autonomy : potential for
future missions, user requirements, trends for future payloads,
ground & spacecraft evolution, etc..

There will be a cocktail party for the participants at the end
of the day, with an opportunity for informal contacts and

The bulk of the second and third days (18th and 19th Oct. 2001)
will consist of presentations in 2 parallel sessions, one
dedicated to "automated operation, planning & scheduling,
decision process", and the other one to "advanced guidance,
navigation and control". Exhibits and demonstrations will be
made in parallel.

The Preliminary Programme will be available by 16th July 2001,
on the workshop web site or on the ESA web site on Autonomy


The workshop will consist of technical paper presentations, a
poster session with demonstrations, invited talks, and panel

Papers and posters will be selected on the basis of extended
abstracts (approx. 3 pages) of high technical quality for

The abstracts must include the following information:
  - title of paper (block capitals);
  - author's full name (lower case);
  - author's affiliation (lower case);
  - complete mailing address of each author;
  - telephone / fax number (lower case);
  - e-mail address (lower case)

In case of multiple authors, clearly indicate which author
should receive correspondence and who will be the speaker.
Authors should also indicate on the abstract submission form
which topic of those above mentioned, he or she considers to be
the most appropriate.

Technical quality, innovation applicability to future space
missions and system design from previous experience or from
trade-off analysis will be part of the paper selection criteria.

Format for the Extended Abstracts
The Abstract should be within 3 pages (approx. 750 words) in
plain text, preferably according to the ESTEC on-line form, made
available on the workshop web site.

Format for the Final Paper
Final camera ready papers should be in 10point Times Roman font.
PDF format for the paper is strongly encouraged, although
postscript format will also be accepted. Final papers should be
compressed and sent electronically preferably via the workshop
web site or possibly by email to the ESTEC conference Bureau.

Presentation of the plenary papers will be followed by a
commentary by a member of a different community from the author,
a brief response by the author(s), with time for questions from
the floor.

Presentation of the paper
Presentation time per paper will be 30 minutes plus 10 minutes
for questions and discussion. Presentations shall be given in
English, using PC-based viewgraph transparencies; hardcopy
slides and videotapes are also welcome. Each demonstration will
receive a time slot of 15 minutes.

Deadlines for Abstracts and Final Papers
Extended Abstracts should be sent by 15 March 2001 to:

     ESTEC Conference Bureau
     2200 AG Noordwijk, NL
     Phone +31-71-565 5005.
     Fax +31-71-565 5658,

exclusively in electronic form:

preferably via the workshop on-line web form to: or

Authors will be notified of the Programme Committee's decision
by 4 June 2001. Authors whose papers have been accepted will
receive an Instruction Note (via the web or by email) for the
preparation of the final paper for inclusion in the Workshop
proceedings which will be distributed to all participants.

Presentation done during the Workshop should preferably be done
in PowerPoint, with the file electronically sent in advance to
ESTEC, for facilitating the organisation.


Participation and Proceedings
Participation to the workshop will be at no charge.
At the start of the Workshop, each registered participant will
receive a copy of the proceedings, including final papers of
presentations and abstracts of demonstrations and exhibits.

Local arrangements
The ESTEC Hotel reservation Service will make block bookings in
hotels in different price categories at preferential rates, till
15th august 2001. An hotel reservation form will be included in
the preliminary programme, on the web server. For further
matters, please contact the ESTEC Conference Bureau.


15 March 2001 Extended Abstract submission deadline

4 June 2001 Selection of the contributions by the programme
                committee to be notification to authors of

16 July 2001 Deadline for submission of Final Papers
                Publication on the Web of the Preliminary
                Programme with registration and hotel reservation

15 August 2001 Deadline for hotel reservations (release of
                block booking) and pre-registration

17-19 Oct 2001 Workshop "On-Board Autonomy"


Richard Creasey ESA / ESTEC
Mauro Novara ESA / ESTEC
Joachim Fuchs ESA / ESTEC
David Soo ESA / ESTEC
Jean Loup Terraillon ESA / ESTEC
Wolfgang Wimmer ESA / ESOC
Kanna Rajan NASA Ames Research Centre
Shinichi Nakasuka University of Tokyo
Jean de Lafontaine Sherbrooke University
Alexander Nareyek GMD FIRST Research Centre
Malik Ghallab LAAS Research Centre
Amedeo Cesta IP-CNR Research Centre
Eric Bornschlegl ESA / ESTEC (Workshop Organiser)

In addition to the programme committee, a small number of
external experts from research and industry related to the space
domain, will review and comment on the papers.

Location Information

The workshop will be held in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, where
is located ESTEC, the Research and Technology Centre for the
European Space Agency.

  * ESTEC external web site
  * Map to reach ESTEC http://w3/gif/map6.gif
  * Noordwijk information ->
                              -> netherlands-noordwijk.shtml

Workshop Secretariat
For all administrative and organisational matters please contact
ESA/ESTEC Conference Bureau Fax +31-71-565 5658,
Telephone +31-71-565 5005
PO Box 299 E-mail:
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands

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