NASA Leverages Connext DDS Software for Human Exploration Telerobotics Project

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the real-time infrastructure software company, today announced that NASA is leveraging the flexible service parameters and durability of Connext™ DDS software to support human-to-robot communication between Earth and space.

The NASA Human Exploration Telerobotics (HET) project is demonstrating how telerobotics – remote control of a variety of robotic arms, rovers and other devices – can take routine, highly repetitive, dangerous or long-duration tasks out of human hands, to improve and hasten human space exploration missions to new destinations. Connext DDS software addresses the communications and interoperability requirements of NASA's complex systems architecture.

Despite variations in purpose, technology and design, all of the HET robots must be similarly equipped for both high-speed (local) and low-bandwidth, delayed (satellite) communications. The problem was finding a common, flexible, interoperable data communications interface that would readily integrate across each robot's disparate applications and operating systems. A common architecture was mandatory and standardization also was important.

"Space is an incredibly rigorous production environment. As a direct result, the software needed to support mission-critical telerobotics communication applications, must meet stringent requirements and become certified before use in this rugged environment," said Stan Schneider, CEO and founder of RTI. "RTI Connext DDS solutions are tolerant to the time delay and loss of signal that can occur with signals bouncing between the space station, satellites and land-based devices."

RTI delivers the world's leading implementation of DDS software and services. The data-centric Connext DDS messaging software for advanced distributed systems meets the needs of demanding, mission-critical applications such as those pursued by NASA. Not only does Connext DDS supply a fast, scalable architecture for real-time systems, it also enables loosely coupled integration that significantly reduces long-term software maintenance efforts and costs.

Stan Schneider also commented, "NASA Ames was one of the first RTI middleware customers in the early 1990s and we are honored to have played a part in many of the agency's missions over the last 20 years. We look forward to continuing this partnership and playing an integral role in NASA's next decade of telerobotics innovation."


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