Expert Systems Applied to Spacecraft Fire Safety
This chapter provides a general description of expert-system programs, to describe their unique application in meeting the needs of fire safety in spacecraft, in particular the future NASA Space Station Freedom. It explains expert systems in terms of their feasibility for development as autonomous intelligence for fire safety in Freedom. The chapter discusses the problems in fire prevention, detection, and control in space, as a preliminary assessment of the presence and absence of expert knowledge in these fields. Expert systems are problem-solving programs that combine a knowledge base and a reasoning mechanism to simulate a human “expert.” The development of an expert system to manage fire safety in spacecraft, in particular the NASA Space Station Freedom, is difficult but clearly advantageous in the long term. In adapting expert systems to meet fire-safety needs in the future US Space Station Freedom, clearly one must deal with some very difficult problems.