Twin Oaks Computing Partners with NASA for International Space Station Project

July 25, 2012, CoreDX DDS is the communications middleware NASA is using on their International Space Station Human Exploration Telerobotics (HET) project.

“We chose CoreDX DDS because it supports the Android operating system and because it is fully compliant with the DDS open standard for middleware.” – Rachel Hoover, NASA Ames Research Center

The purpose of the HET project is to demonstrate how advanced remotely operated robots can increase performance, reduce cost, and improve the success of human exploration missions. To do this, NASA is using the International Space Station as a laboratory to test new telerobotic systems, modes of control, and operational concepts. The HET is one of NASA's Technology Demonstration Missions.

One of the robots HET is working with is called "Smart SPHERES." The Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) are volleyball-sized free-flyers that have been on the space station since 2006. The SPHERES were originally developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a platform for testing spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control algorithms in micro-gravity.

Last fall, HET equipped SPHERES with an Android-based Smartphone. Adding the Smartphone to the SPHERES transforms the satellite into a free-flying robot, or "Smart SPHERES"; complete with a compact, low-power, low-cost embedded computer and built-in cameras and sensors to enhance and expand robotic operations. During the next two years, astronauts on the International Space Station and ground personnel at Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, will remotely operate the Smart SPHERES to perform experiments.

CoreDX DDS is being used to enable remote operation of Smart SPHERES. Specifically, HET is using the software to transmit commands to the robot, and to receive telemetry (position, battery levels, etc) from the robot.

“Our mission at Twin Oaks Computing is to provide industry leading software tools, middleware, responsiveness and services to software engineers and architects around the world. We enable our clients to build cost effective, easy to use, robust solutions to the interconnected, multi-platform challenges of tomorrow - both here on Earth and beyond. We are pleased to be partnering once again with NASA for the HET Project”. – Clark Tucker, CEO, Twin Oaks Computing

About Twin Oaks Computing
Twin Oaks Computing, Inc. is a company dedicated to developing and delivering quality software solutions. We build the software that collects, manages, and distributes information in a wide range of industries. Our software is in use around the world supporting critical missions.

Super-small and blazingly fast, our flagship product, CoreDX DDS is the leading Publish-Subscribe Data Distribution Service middleware available for small-footprint and embedded systems.
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