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Specification and Role of the Sensor Manager in the Science/Autonomy System

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1998 by Lenny J. Delligatti, Dimitrios Apostolopoulos
The NOMAD project focuses on producing a rover capable of autonomously searching for and classifying Antarctic meteorites. The rover is equipped with a sensor array and a network of software modules, the Science/Autonomy system, which work in conjunction to enable the rover in its aforementioned task. The sensor manager is a communications interface between the sensor array and the higher-level decision making modules of the Science/Autonomy system. The use of the sensor manager in the system simplifies the system’s communications web while making the details of sensor operation and control transparent to the higher level modules. The current implementation of the sensor manager uses a sensor class to give the sensor hardware a representation in software, which changes to reflect the current status of the sensor as it runs through a series of operations. NDDS is used for communication with the sensor manager. Future implementations will give the sensor manager a decision making capability with respect to which sensor to use under a given set of circumstances.