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John L. Bresina Receives an IAAI-15 Deployed Application Award

John L. Bresina received an IAAI-15 Deployed Application Award for his paper, entitled “Activity Planning for a Lunar Orbital Mission”, which was presented at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference on Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence. The conference was held, along with the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference, January 25th - 30th, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Based on this paper, John was selected to be part of the AAAI Press Conference and was requested for an interview for Computerworld.

This paper describes a challenging, real-world planning problem within the context of a NASA mission called LADEE (Lunar Atmospheric and Dust Environment Explorer). We present the approach taken to reduce the complexity of the activity planning task in order to effectively perform it within the time pressures imposed by the mission requirements. One key aspect of this approach is the design of the activity planning process based on principles of problem decomposition and planning abstraction levels. The second key aspect is the mixed-initiative system developed for this task, called LASS (LADEE Activity Scheduling System). The primary challenge for LASS was representing and managing the science constraints that were tied to key points in the spacecraft’s orbit, given their dynamic nature due to the continually updated orbit determination solution.

BACKGROUND: The LADEE mission launched on September 6, 2013 and ended on April 17, 2014, after achieving all of its objectives. Its primary objectives were to study the lunar atmosphere and measure the lunar dust. The mission was carried out by the NASA Ames Research Center in collaboration with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. There were three instrument teams; one located at NASA Ames, one at NASA Goddard, and one at the University of Colorado, Bolder. The mission also included a successful technology demonstration of Lunar Laser Communications; their operations center was at MIT Lincoln Labs.

For the LADEE project, John Bresina served as lead of the Mission Planning and Sequencing team as part of the Mission Operations Systems team and as lead for the Activity Planning System and Command Sequencing System as part of the Ground Data Systems

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: The LADEE Project was funded by the Lunar Quest Program within the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).

Contact: John L. Bresina

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