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Mars Rover Controlled By Java

Java, the software developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s as a
universal operating system for Internet applications, gave NASA a low-cost
and easy-to-use option for running Spirit, the robotic rover that rolled
onto the planet's surface on Thursday in search of signs of water and life.

http://news.com.com/2100-1007_3-5142...l?tag=nefd_top

l8r, Mike N. Christoff

Jul 17 '05
198 18459

"Harry Conover" <hh****@yahoo.c om> wrote in message
news:7c******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
"Michael N. Christoff" <mc********@sym patico.caREMOVE THIS> wrote in message news:<6b******* *************@n ews20.bellgloba l.com>...
> Java is certainly not a member of this tight-knit
> club of system implementation languages, and I simply cannot picture
> anyone even attempting to implement a real-time OS using it.
>


As I mentioned, you would not implement the OS in Java, but would implement
a VM for the OS that allows one to run Java code with deterministic time
contraints on operations.


No, what you actually posted was (unless attrition of this to you was
in error):

"> > Java, the software developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s
as a universal operating system for Internet applications, gave NASA a low-cost and easy-to-use option for running Spirit, the robotic rover that rolled onto the planet's surface on Thursday in search of signs of water and

life."
I just copied that from the article to introduce the link, it is not my
personal opinion.

[argument based on this snipped]

I suspect that tranlated to my language, what you're telling us is
that one could employ a Java implementation running on top of the
environment created by a real-time operating system, something that is
routinely done.

Spirit's applications level software could well be Java, or Fortran,
Basic, Jovial, Lisp, Forth (Ghod Forbid), or just about any HOL. My
point is that you can damn't well bet that the RTOS that directly
controls (both the good and now the bad on Spirit) is very likely
programmed in a language providing direct machine instruction level
control of its processor, likely C, C++, or assemly langage just as is
the embedded bios in your computer, RAID server, or network
controller.

Perhaps in your group, some messages from the thread are being lost, but the
fact that Java is (almost certainly) not on the rover has been mentioned
numerous times already by many different people.
Fact is, the controller aboard Spirit is functioning as simply a
glorified PLC, and likely has very similar embedded firmware to that
of earthborne PLCs. Why wouldn't JPL copy this model, 90% of man's
controller experience is using PLCs.


Well it depends. Is the new technology easy to use, inexpensive, and does
it offer useful capabilities and features PLCs do not? These are all
factors that may make changing to a new technology, as tried and true as the
older one may be, a good idea.

l8r, Mike N. Christoff

Jul 17 '05 #131
It seems to be a software problem. The rover is rebooting frequently.

Who says there is no life on Mars? ... We have bugs.

In any case what the rover has accomplished thus far is a technical
feat that we should be proud of.

Sandeep
--
http://www.EventHelix.com/EventStudio
EventStudio 2.0 - System Architecture Design CASE Tool
Jul 17 '05 #132
It seems to be a software problem. The rover is rebooting frequently.

Who says there is no life on Mars? ... We have bugs.

In any case what the rover has accomplished thus far is a technical
feat that we should be proud of.

Sandeep
--
http://www.EventHelix.com/EventStudio
EventStudio 2.0 - System Architecture Design CASE Tool
Jul 17 '05 #133

"Randy Howard" <ra**********@F OOmegapathdslBA R.net> wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.megapath dsl.net...
Ah, the Martians are just playing with us, sending a few brief seconds
on data to make us believe it's still all by itself. Next thing you
know, they'll rig it to send back data proving there is no actual
life on mars. :-)


There is no life on Mars. They all live inside.
Jul 17 '05 #134

"Randy Howard" <ra**********@F OOmegapathdslBA R.net> wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.megapath dsl.net...
Ah, the Martians are just playing with us, sending a few brief seconds
on data to make us believe it's still all by itself. Next thing you
know, they'll rig it to send back data proving there is no actual
life on mars. :-)


There is no life on Mars. They all live inside.
Jul 17 '05 #135
On 24 Jan 2004 07:45:20 -0800, ev********@hotm ail.com (EventHelix.com ) wrote:
It seems to be a software problem. The rover is rebooting frequently.

Who says there is no life on Mars? ... We have bugs.

xWorks, who made the operating system for both this probe and
the previous American one that failed, see
<url: http://www.windriver.c om/platforms/platformvdt/>, thinks the
following is a real advantage -- and perhaps so also did NASA:
<quote>
Reduces time-to-market by cutting integration and testing ...
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^

typically the most time-consuming stages of the development process.
</quote>
Jul 17 '05 #136
On 24 Jan 2004 07:45:20 -0800, ev********@hotm ail.com (EventHelix.com ) wrote:
It seems to be a software problem. The rover is rebooting frequently.

Who says there is no life on Mars? ... We have bugs.

xWorks, who made the operating system for both this probe and
the previous American one that failed, see
<url: http://www.windriver.c om/platforms/platformvdt/>, thinks the
following is a real advantage -- and perhaps so also did NASA:
<quote>
Reduces time-to-market by cutting integration and testing ...
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^

typically the most time-consuming stages of the development process.
</quote>
Jul 17 '05 #137
In article <j9************ *******@news20. bellglobal.com> , mt0000
@sympatico.nosp am-remove.ca says...

"Randy Howard" <ra**********@F OOmegapathdslBA R.net> wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.megapath dsl.net...
Ah, the Martians are just playing with us, sending a few brief seconds
on data to make us believe it's still all by itself. Next thing you
know, they'll rig it to send back data proving there is no actual
life on mars. :-)


There is no life on Mars. They all live inside.


So that is what happened to the Morelocks.

--
Randy Howard
2reply remove FOOBAR

Jul 17 '05 #138
In article <j9************ *******@news20. bellglobal.com> , mt0000
@sympatico.nosp am-remove.ca says...

"Randy Howard" <ra**********@F OOmegapathdslBA R.net> wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.megapath dsl.net...
Ah, the Martians are just playing with us, sending a few brief seconds
on data to make us believe it's still all by itself. Next thing you
know, they'll rig it to send back data proving there is no actual
life on mars. :-)


There is no life on Mars. They all live inside.


So that is what happened to the Morelocks.

--
Randy Howard
2reply remove FOOBAR

Jul 17 '05 #139
Uncle Al <Un******@hate. spam.net> wrote in message news:<40******* ********@hate.s pam.net>...
mitch wrote:

Uncle Al wrote:

Local atmospheric pressure is 7-10 torr. Earth sea level is 760
torr. How many planes do you know that cruise at 100,000 feet absent
any oxygen at all? Martian aircraft are a bad dream.
Hmm. Then the test of a Mars glider plane back in August of 2001 was
just a bad dream? ;-) Work has begun on a propellered version of the
glider cited below. Enjoy.

AMES COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL TEST OF MARS AIRPLANE PROTOTYPE


The empirical fact is that lowland Martian air pressure is 7-10 torr.
The is equivalent to 120,000-100,000 feet terrestrial altitude.


Read the article: the glider was released at 101,000 feet.
If
the silly thing will be diddling at even 1000 ft altitude Martian, the
air will be thinner.
Martian gravity is less, hence the pressure relative pressure
difference between 0 and 1000 feet will be less than that on Earth:
less than 5%.
"Ye canna break the laws of physics."

The Concorde flew at 60,000 feet and gulped air like a madman. The
U-2 did 75,000 feet, breathed air, and it was a bitch to fly. The
SR-71 Blackbird could barely do 100,000 feet while at Mach 3+ with its
cockpit windshield simmering at 620 F. It drank 8000 gallons/hr of
fuel. It breathed 6 million ft^3 of air/minute.


Al ... organizational bashing is fun and rewarding, but must be taken
with up with taste. Sending flawed subtly mirrors into space while
good ones sit in storage, and launching on colder and colder days
until disaster strikes: these are both errors of judgement well within
the capability of the political machine. But making fundamental
science errors in the preliminary design stages, and saying something
(whose gross design parameters are available to anybody willing to
take the time to look) can work when it not only can't but, according
to you, grossly can't?

That is down at the 5 sigma tail of Bayesian probability, and you know
it.

Of your three examples, only the U-2 is remotely relevant, since it
was essentially a powered glider; and it did not gulp air and fuel,
which you seem fixated on. Who the hell said anything about
air-breathing flight, anyway?

The basic principles and parameters are well known: you have your
Martian atmosphere, you have your structural requirements, you have
your power requirements, you have your known solar cell efficiency.
The engineering either comes together or it doesn't. Have you run the
figures? The issue is whether you can build a large enough and light
enough airframe to move enough rarefied gas to generate sufficient
lift to sustain flight at a drag sustainable by some reasonable power
make-up from solar cells. There are people who could do this on the
back of an envelope.

No ... I haven't run the calculations either. But knowing that high
altitude long dwell time solar powered sail planes have been seriously
considered on Earth, that flight costs less power with slower flight
and larger lifting area, knowing the experience with very light weight
miniminally powered structures accumulated by the human-powered flight
school ... all this give credibility to the idea and tends to suggest
that Al is making an ill-considered shot from the hip, as usual.

And this is not to mention aerostats ... you may have noticed also how
the test glider was carried to 101,000 ft? I suppose that was a
physical impossibility too?
Jul 17 '05 #140

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