With launch just five years away, the Gateway Exploration Robotics System — better known as Canadarm3 — has arrived at a critical point where its artificial intelligence system must be properly calibrated to meet the rigorous autonomous demands the Lunar Gateway project will impose upon it.
The AI solutions sought for Canadarm3’s vision by MDA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) largely relate to obstacle avoidance to prevent the arm from bumping into other structures on the lunar outpost and how to work with issues like prolonged communications blackouts and less-than-optimal lighting conditions — both of which must be overcome for the Gateway.
Speaking at a recent industry day event, Chris Langley, AI Lead at MDA for Canadarm3, related some of the challenges posed to the project by the Gateway operations plan, including only one month per year of crewed occupation initially and as little as only 8 hours of communication each week.
Additionally, the Gateway will also, as of now, seek to demonstrate an autonomy goal of 21 days without human intervention — during which Canadarm3 would have to operate and perform tasks.
“The idea is to really push for a Mars forward type philosophy. So we would have ...