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OCAMS Project Moves Toward Deployment in JSC Mission Control

The agent-based OCA Mirroring System (OCAMS), being developed at Ames to automate part of the workload of the International Space Station (ISS) Orbital Communications Adapter (OCA) Officer, has been included as an integral part of a new Concept of Operations written by Johnson Space Center’s OCA team in the Mission Operations Division. Members of the OCA, OCAMS, and Mission Support teams have also defined a certification process to follow, and a number of meetings have been scheduled with boards and organizations at JSC.

OCAMS researchers recently completed a successful integration test week at Ames, with very positive responses from OCA and Mission Support representatives. One obstacle to deploying OCAMS in Mission Control has been the need for secure communications between agents and the completely isolated OCS network. To address these concerns, a Secure Communications Layer is being implemented to the Brahms multi-agent language environment, and thus OCAMS. This layer is an adaptation of the “Collaborative Infrastructure” architecture for interoperability that the Brahms team developed as part of the Spacecraft Autonomy and Vehicle Health project.

BACKGROUND: The OCA Officer is responsible for uplinking and downlinking all files to and from the ISS. The Ames Mission Operations Design and Analysis Toolkit (MODAT) project team is developing the Agent-based OCA Mirroring System (OCAMS) to simulate the OCA Officer’s work process in order to identify possible process improvements. Using the newly developed Simulation to Implementation Engineering method, the MODAT team developed an in-silico work process and practice simulation of the OCA Officer’s work in Brahms, based on observations of the actual work in Mission Control. Using statistics generated from this simulation model and collaborative design with the OCA Team at JSC, they then developed an agent-based workflow system that supports the newly designed and improved OCA work process.

With the OCAMS system, the time spent by the OCA Officer mirroring files uplinked and downlinked to the Space Station is predicted to go from 6% of their shift time to less than 0.6% of their shift time.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: This project is funded as the OCA Mirroring System (OCAMS) ITA 9277 between JSC’s MOD and the Ames Intelligent Systems Division.

Contact: Bill Clancey; Maarten Sierhuis,


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