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mREST: Flexible Open Interface Standard for Test and Launch Operations, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Spaceflight systems must pass through a complex set of testing and processing before being cleared for launch. A significant portion of the pre-launch processing involves integration with other flight systems, general ground support equipment, and test equipment. The process of interfacing this equipment has historically been a source of numerous delays and unplanned work prior to launch. The proliferation of different interface types, designs, and manufacturers only serves to increase the difficulties associated with pre-launch integration and testing.The development and adoption of improved, standardized interfaces holds the potential of reducing the cost and complexity of the testing and launch processing processes and could provide eventual benefits to autonomous servicing in future space missions. In-space and surface servicing of multiple types of spacecraft becomes more feasible if a common interface approach can be developed and widely adopted. In 2012, METECS developed the mREST Architecture and Interface Specification and began developing software prototypes that could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the standard for the automation of testing in flight laboratories at the NASA/Johnson Space Center. This specification and the associated software became collectively known simply as "mREST". The proposed innovation is to expand on the mREST foundational work to design an interface standard that can be utilized to solve the issues associated with test and launch operations. This will be accomplished by first doing research into the specific issues that typically arise during the pre-launch process and identifying areas where the existing mREST specification should be expanded and/or refined. More »

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