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NASA Space Hardware Technology

Self-Healing Computers For NASA Spacecraft 70

Roland Piquepaille writes "As you can guess, hardwired computer systems are much faster than general-purpose ones because they are designed to do a single task. But when they fail, they need to be totally reconfigured. This can be just a costly problem in a lab on Earth, but it can be vital in space. This is why a University of Arizona (UA) team is working with NASA to design self-healing computer systems for spacecraft. The UA engineers are working on hybrid hardware/software systems using Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to develop these reconfigurable processing systems. As the lead researcher said, 'Our objective is to go beyond predicting a fault to using a self-healing system to fix the predicted fault before it occurs.'"
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Self-Healing Computers For NASA Spacecraft

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26, 2008 @05:53AM (#23206284)
    In case anyone doesn't get it, the above is a reference to the Stanley Kubric film 2001: A Space Odyssey [] (screenplay by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke), where the Hal-9000 computer that runs a spaceship begins its descent into madness. In 2008, we're sadly still a long way from sentient talking (and lip-reading) computers, though perhaps we should be thankful that the robot apocalypse has thus been put off a few more years.

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer