Engineers troubleshoot robot arm software glitch
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: June 14, 2002
But engineers say they believe a simple programming "patch" will fix the problem and that the Canadarm2 crane will be ready to "walk off" the Destiny lab module and onto its mobile base system attachment platform on the station's main solar array truss on schedule around July 1.
"There is growing confidence this is a software problem, it's something that we can easily resolve with a software patch," said shuttle flight director Paul Hill.
Engineers believe the problem is the result of a computer timing issue in which a check to make sure the arm is powering up normally comes before the power-up process is complete. As a result, the arm's main computer believes there is a problem and stops the activation procedure.
Hill said a software patch to insert a delay into the startup check should be loaded within the next few weeks, in plenty of time for upcoming arm work to continue as planned.
"This really is a speed bump, software patch and all," Hill said.
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