Space Trusted Autonomy Readiness Levels

by   Kerianne L Hobbs, et al.

Technology Readiness Levels are a mainstay for organizations that fund, develop, test, acquire, or use technologies. Technology Readiness Levels provide a standardized assessment of a technology's maturity and enable consistent comparison among technologies. They inform decisions throughout a technology's development life cycle, from concept, through development, to use. A variety of alternative Readiness Levels have been developed, including Algorithm Readiness Levels, Manufacturing Readiness Levels, Human Readiness Levels, Commercialization Readiness Levels, Machine Learning Readiness Levels, and Technology Commitment Levels. However, while Technology Readiness Levels have been increasingly applied to emerging disciplines, there are unique challenges to assessing the rapidly developing capabilities of autonomy. This paper adopts the moniker of Space Trusted Autonomy Readiness Levels to identify a two-dimensional scale of readiness and trust appropriate for the special challenges of assessing autonomy technologies that seek space use. It draws inspiration from other readiness levels' definitions, and from the rich field of trust and trustworthiness. The Space Trusted Autonomy Readiness Levels were developed by a collaborative Space Trusted Autonomy subgroup, which was created from The Space Science and Technology Partnership Forum between the United States Space Force, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Reconnaissance Office.


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