A discussion of the cost-effectiveness tradeoffs and other influencing factors relating to the introduction of automated checkout in space systems. The introduction of automatic AGE (aerospace ground equipment) involves risks to the mission-success rate of a system. Moreover, the installation and checkout of automatic AGE is usually troublesome and costly. To minimize these dangers, a building-block approach to automation of AGE is recommended. Exploitation of integrated circuits in onboard checkout equipment, extensive use of digital computation equipment, and advances in programming will be increasingly needed in the future. 16 pp. Ref.
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