Affiliations: Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy | Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
Abstract: The fundamental role of autonomous agents in managing activities of space systems has emerged some years ago with the NASA's Remote Agent Experiment. However, the possible advantages of employing multiple agents to manage activities on a single space system are largely unexplored. This paper gives a contribution in this direction by presenting the design and the experimental validation of a multiagent architecture intended to run onboard a space satellite. Each agent is associated to a subsystem of the satellite and manages its activities. Each agent is organized in three modules, or layers: a planner, a scheduler, and an executor. Taken together across the agents, these layers form a distributed planner, a distributed scheduler, and a distributed executor, respectively. With a multiagent architecture, a number of benefits, including robustness, easy reuse of agents, and the possibility for the designer to focus on a small portion of the problem at a time, can be exploited. We experimentally validated our system in the scenario provided by Palamede, a low Earth orbit satellite under development at the Department of Aerospace Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano.
Keywords: Autonomous space systems, multiagent architectures, multiagent planning, multiagent scheduling