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Dialogs for computer-human-teamwork

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:25 pm
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Dialogs for computer-human-teamwork 
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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:59 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Please note - the human's only informed the computer about something
That is such backward thinking. Computers inform the people who then make a decision, not the other way around! The only reason we have computers on rockets at all is that humans cannot view, decide and then inform fast enough. The sensor takes a millisecond to tell the computer which takes 10 milliseconds to decide and does whatever is needed in 100 milliseconds.

The specific idea of cameras in the tanks and pipes just makes no sense. Video images are highly overrated. Just look at security videos as an example. And try looking inside a large tank partially filled with cryogenic fluid and notice how poor the view is. Other ideas may be more reasonable, but I haven't heard any yet.

In the even more specific example of the delta 4, how long did the sensor indicate dry before the computer commanded a shutdown? I don't know, but I bet it was much less than one second. A 1 second interruption of fuel or oxidizer flow to a rocket engine would be catastrophic. In fact the shutdown may have saved the vehicle from exploding! If the engines had attempted to continue running until the LOX flow resumed, the imbalance of fuel to oxidizer may have caused an explosion. The bubble was REAL. Propellant REALLY stopped flowing in the pipe for some period of time and a camera in the pipe would only have confirmed that, providing NO NEW INFORMATION. If another camera in the tank showed fuel remaining, that also would not be new information, since the airforce has already determined that there was fuel left. I bet the controllers were sitting in the control room in the 8 seconds after the early shutdown thinking, "why did it shutdown? There should be plenty of fuel left." Not really. It takes people more than 8 seconds to come to such a conclusion. That is why they cannot provide useful information to computers, which have no problem making up their mind in a millisecond. Review of additional data in the following hours and days would have merely confirmed what they already knew, or could have known, given the data ALREADY IN HAND.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:19 am
First - it is NOT
Quote:
such backward thinking
. The issue that
Quote:
Computers inform the people who then make a decision, not the other way around
is not true in general - think of the PC by which you are inserting words into posts to be placed here: Not the PC informs you about something and then you make a decision but reverse - you inform the PV that you want to be connected to the internet, then you inform the PC that you want to be connected to the message board of the XPRIZE, the you inform the PC that you want to be logged in, then you write a text and inform the PC that you want the text to be posted and so on.

Regarding the quality of videos this may be a specific circumstance in the US - the quality over here in Germany is not that bad.

I agree to what you say regarding the danger of explosion - but it looks as if this is a consequnce of the current construction and design of engines. This construction and design is based on the philosophy not to install dialogs between the computer and humans.

This philosophy in turn seems to be the result of the past when the Apollos flew to the Moon - a past when computers worked at a speed of a thousands of today's speed.

Given today's philosophy and construction you are right.

But I never said that the computer shouldn't have commanded a shutdown - I said that never, it's only your personal subjective imagination about what I have in mind. You don't know what I have in mind, you may have had a problem with missing this knowledge or information and so you simply substituted your own interpretation instead of asking me for the information (this is one of the ways you are causing my long posts rich of words as answer to you)

I never said that the computer shouldn't have commanded a shutdown - I said
Quote:
What the computer does with this information is determined by his software
.

There are alternatives - the shutdown could be followed by restart for example or by ignition of a backup-engine or something like that

May be all innovations, may be all stupid ideas in this shape, may all need a lot of modifications - but there should be development of better engines, more intelligent engines and so on.

I took the failures of Delta 4 Heavy, the Volna rocket and others as examples of members of a much larger and wider family of rockets, engines etc. only the most member of which haven't been developed yet.

Restartable engines are possible and already have been and are in use - so there is no reason not to think about such dialogs.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:26 am
Oh well, it seems my point has been lost in the endless continuing argument between you two. Good luck, I don't think you'll ever resolve it. :!:

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:44 am
Sensors should be improved whenever a way to improve them is found - or may be that sensors could be revolutionized.

The idea to provide a direct look to tanks, pipes, engines etc. for humans only is checking.

A sensor may be damaged anytime or its lifecycle may finish earlier than usual or expected simply because this single sensor has been of less quality and hasn't been checked - which should be expected if the amount of sensors produced for space vehicles increases to several thousands per year.

Perhaps there will be safety rules soon which include inspections and the like - such inspections will be possible the easy way by videos. And when a vehicle is in orbit or on its way to the moon, to Mars or another distant planet such videos would simplify each inspection - and inspections will be the more important for safety reasons the more distant the manned vehicle will go.

In between I read that the Volna rocket carrying Cosmos 1 didn't separate the first stage - this too would have been more clear initially if there would have been a cam providing a look from one of those stages to the other.

But to say it explicitly - I don't propose to modify already produced vehicles by adding cams etc.. What I propose is to include cams when the vehcile is in its design and development phase. That time restart abilities, redundant amounts of propellants and the like can be included.

And T/Space obviously has mind to provide redundant amount of propellant by operation - tankers are a method to provide access to redundant amounts.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:42 pm
Hrm... If only we could get one of the two to say "Yo, Adrian", we might be able to sell it as "Rocky DMXLVII".

"In this corner: Ekkehard, the Economist! In the next corner: Peter, the Engineer!"

It's "Orbital Mechanics" all over again, ladies and gentlemen!

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:52 pm
Hello, spacecowboy,

your description is correct - since a few days I am exchanging PMs with Peter about what you described. I can fix a couple of causes and reasons since a few weeks and told Peter that I will list them and provide them to him via PM (may be via email).

One correction seems to be required - in this thread here I apply the informatics thinking rather than the thinking of Economics. The idea comes from working on informatics projects (design, testing, optimizing and so on).



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

EDIT: Perhaps I should say here that I have the tendency in between to take Peter's answers as stimulations to work out more details and their contexts rather than to try to convince or to answer to him. Of course my posts tend to be answers to him too - but not to convince or to get rid of him. I seem to have no chance to escape him :D .


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:18 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Perhaps I should say here that I have the tendency in between to take Peter's answers as stimulations to work out more details and their contexts rather than to try to convince or to answer to him. Of course my posts tend to be answers to him too - but not to convince or to get rid of him. I seem to have no chance to escape him :D .

:lol: Thanks Ekkehard.
How dull this forum would have become by now without our lively posts!


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:54 pm
Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi! With the bandwidth you two have eaten up, we might have been able to formalize the design of SS2 for Rutan, or something equally interesting! :P

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:12 pm
What about basing such dialogues on methods like asteroid paths and orbits are refined? There is an initial imagination and result about it which next is refined again and again like can be seen bý the asterois that might impact Mars this month.

May be that this fits better into lunar and interplanetary travels.

There is an additional idea about where exactly a vehicle might arrive at a planet - latitude, altitude, inclination and shape of an orbit. This idea is got by calculations.

Each time the calculations are done again the result will be more precise which can be considered to be a reason to ask the crew if they want to readjust velocity etc. of the vehicle in order to aim at the orbit around the planet or the Moon more precisely.

The orbit aimed it is an orbit futurely to be inserted in - so a dialogue may be no problem.

This way also changes of the planned orbit may be enabled also. Propellant consumption may be optimized too.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:34 pm
Regarding dialogues I found an interesting article in te dition of Wirtschaftswoch from the 18th of August this year.

First please remember that Orion will be equipped with touch-screens. Sthe computer will get manual input - commands I suppose but that is of minor meaning here. The Space Shuttle also gets manual input.

To insert that input the an astronaut needs to be at the keyboard, touch-screen etc.

The article mentioned now seems to mean that that requirement might be removed. It says that input by voice is matured that far in between that pilots can command the military jet Eurofighter by voice. Noise etc are no problems no more (quoting Bernhard Steimel, head of Mind Business Consultants, Meerbusch/Germany).

This will continue to mature.

So astronauts might be freed from havig to be and stay at the touch-screen or keyboard - and it might result in faster reactions because speaking is faster than typing.

May be that computers of space vehicles start to remind to the computer in Star Trek - The Original Series.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:01 am
human control acts more as an override than anything. even the command process for satellites has been largely automated. people used to order all of the orbit keeping maneuvers by hand, but these have almost all been turned over to programs now. of course, these are slow things where it's easy to tell if something goes wrong. so the oversight can have a substantial effect.. the shorter stuff is, the less effective but more important oversight is, to a point. i don't see speech speeding up stuff enough to allow significant qualitative changes in spacecraft electronics, since the main limiting factor is human reaction time- you can't get meaningful control of processes that operate in under .5s really.

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