The NASA Ames Intelligent Systems Division’s Ocean Worlds Autonomy Testbed for Exploration Research and Simulation (OceanWATERS) software team announced their 9th public release of the OceanWATERS open source software on December 13, 2021. Release 9 adds significant improvements to the previous release, including a shift to the newer Noetic version of the Robot Operating System (ROS), a PLan EXecution Interchange Language (PLEXIL) interface to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) sibling Ocean World simulator, a graphical plan selection interface, basic modeling of sample collection, and enhancements in fault injection and handling, as well as the lander’s command interface. A detailed summary of this release can be found in the User Guide off the link on GitHub.
BACKGROUND: The OceanWATERS project began in late 2018. Using JPL’s 2016 Europa Lander Study as a reference, a software testbed featuring the ROS, the robot simulator software Gazebo, and PLEXIL was developed from scratch and released open source on GitHub in summer 2020. Two external projects using this testbed began in 2020 under grants from the Autonomous Robotics Research for Ocean Worlds (ARROW) Program; and four additional projects began this past summer under grants from the Concepts for Ocean worlds Life Detection Technology (COLDTech) Program. The goal of these programs is to support the development of spacecraft-based technology for surface and subsurface exploration of ocean worlds, such as the Jovian moon Europa and Saturnian moon Enceladus.
NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Planetary Exploration Science Technology Office (PESTO), Science Mission Directorate (SMD)
TEAM: Anjan Chakrabarty, Michael Dalal, Chetan Kulkarni, Lanssie Ma, Ussama Naal, Thomas Stucky, and Terence Welsh; PESTO: Carolyn Mercer (Manager)