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Spacecraft Automation Technology Meetings With Air Force Research Laboratory

Dr. Jeremy Frank held two meetings with contractors and staff from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first meeting was held with staff from AFRL contractor SRA, formerly ICS, the makers of Spacecraft Command Language (SCL). SRA staff have been working with the publicly available EUROPA planning system as part of an effort to explore new software concepts for spacecraft mission management of both onboard and ground systems. The meeting focused on specific technical questions surrounding the use of EUROPA and integration of EUROPA with SCL. Staff from TRACLabs, a company working with NASA Ames on manned spaceflight projects, also attended this meeting. SRA is working with TRACLabs on other efforts to define appropriate spacecraft mission software.

The second meeting was held with James Lyke of AFRL and Patrick Shriver of Metatech, an AFRL contractor. Dr. Lyke’s primary project is the Plug-and-Play Satellite (P&P-SAT), envisaged as a means of rapidly assembling and launching a satellite based on a set of available components. This discussion primarily concerned a broader discussion of NASA-developed technology in automation for uses such as validating satellite configurations, mission operations, or onboard control, especially in the area of power management. During this meeting, Dr. Frank demonstrated two applications of EUROPA developed for the manned spaceflight community: the Solar Array Constraints Engine and the integrated EUROPA-SPIFE software used to create crew plans for joint ISS-Shuttle missions.

BACKGROUND: The Extensible Universal Remote Operations Planning Architecture (EUROPA) was developed at NASA Ames Research Center, and has been used for a variety of different mission planning and scheduling applications, as well as demonstrated in advanced technology demonstrations for mission planning and control of autonomous robots and spacecraft.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: ESMD, SOMD

Contact: Jeremy Frank

05/07/2009

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