The purpose of this workshop is to study how to reduce risk in future missions, accelerate science discovery, and enable a new class of high-data-rate, deep space science missions by taking advantage of high-performance spaceflight computing and data storage. We imagine a paradigm shift that resembles the concentration of computing resources into "clouds" (both centralized and distributed) – yet in deep space – and so we name such an arrangement after the deep space clouds, Nebulae.
We are motivated by the fact that down-link limits have severely constrained the types of science instruments we fly. For example: The CRISM and HiRISE instruments were able to image only a tiny fraction of the Mars surface for detailed study. Could on-site storage have allowed us to collect data over the whole of Mars, and been combined with onboard summary, compression, or prioritization to enable new serendipitous discoveries? Could this paradigm extend and scale to enable data-capture missions like “CRISM or Hyperion for all of Titan”?
This workshop seeks to Identify new science missions enabled by a Nebula; to quantify benefit to traditional, existing, and planned science missions; and to identify candidate mission architectures, interfaces, data standards, and demonstration milestones for follow on technology development.