(MNT) promises new function for engineered systems, such as
fairly general purpose fabrication and disassembly. Systems
designing afresh to take advantage of these new functions should
offer original architectures. One compelling example is the
"logical core architecture," which uses subsystems
providing general purpose manufacturing to enable a long-lived,
very flexible system.
This paper provides motivation for the logical core
architecture, discussing systems architecting, the inclination of
MNT to support polymorphic systems, and the implications of using
dynamic remanufacture of on-board components for reliability. It
describes in detail the logical core architecture, which is
comprised of four levels, the logical core, the physical core,
the surge layer, and the external interface layer. The functions
and basic requirements of the subsystems in each of these layers
To illuminate the architecture's capabilities, example
operations are presented. Several are space mission profiles for
systems using a logical core architecture for such tasks as
multi-mode trajectories and asteroid mining, and several
illustrate more general capabilities and flexibilities of the
The prospect of fundamentally new operating modes raises
interesting questions regarding appropriate operating policies.
Initial observations are offered on these novel problems.
The paper concludes with a discussion of important open
questions, including potential operational concepts and grand
strategies that deserve investigation, and appropriate directions
for further stepwise refinement of the architecture.