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Ames Software Project Handovers to Johnson Space Center Completed

Three significant mission operations software projects from Ames have been handed over to Johnson Space Center’s Mission Operations Directorate (JSC MOD): the Operations Planning Timeline Integration System (OPTimIS) – previously referred to as the Next Generation Planning System (NGPS), the Solar Array Constraint Engine (SACE), and the ADCO Planning Exchange (APEX) tool. These three projects are collaborations between MOD and the Planning and Scheduling Group within the Autonomous Systems and Robotics Area (ASR) of the Intelligent Systems Division; APEX and OpTIMIS were also developed in collaboration with the Human Factors Division at NASA Ames.

  • OPTimIS: The International Space Station's (ISS) Short Term Plan (STP) spans several days to two weeks, and describes activities performed by ISS crew and the status of major ISS subsystems at a time granularity of tens of minutes. These plans were previously developed using the Consolidated Planning System (CPS), which contains rules that govern the legality of the STP. Flight controllers can manipulate the STP by rescheduling or deleting activities. The Operations Planning Timeline Integration System (OPTimIS) project consolidates multiple disparate planning tools into one planning system and process for all programs to leverage with technologies to improve and simplify mission planning for all MOD teams. The project incorporates enhanced scheduling capabilities based on the Ames Scheduling and Planning Interface for Exploration (SPIFe) tools to check for constraint violations. OPTimIS is envisioned to have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the planning efforts for ISS.

  • SACE: The Solar Array Constraint Engine (SACE) project has developed a tool that provides intelligent decision-support capabilities to ISS power systems to assist ISS flight controllers with the task of planning and executing solar array operations in a safe, sustainable, and effective manner. SACE provides situational awareness, orientation evaluation and optimization, and array operations planning functionality. The SACE tool is built on the Extensible Universal Remote Operations Planning Architecture (EUROPA) engine, which provides constraint management and reasoning, decision support, and planning. SACE enables simple solar array plan generation. SACE includes: (1) separation of plan configuration and generation into separate phases, so that the user can modify the configuration before proceeding with plan generation; (2) an improved algorithm for consolidating constraints and user restrictions during the solution of configurations that need to be merged during plan generation; (3) visual indication to users of configurations merged during planning; (4) reporting of orbital-average power availability for generated plans, taking into consideration the actual configuration and orientation of the arrays during each orbit; (5) display of eclipse and insolation timelines; and (6) support for custom constraints representing complex, unique array position restrictions. SACE is a fully delivered capability for enhancing the flight control real-time monitoring of the ISS solar arrays and associated constraints management. Development continues to certify the flight planning capability for solar array operations.

  • APEX: The ISS Attitude Determination and Control Officer (ADCO) has the overall responsibility for the integration of all Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC), propulsion, and Interim Control Module (ICM) activities (including monitoring of Control Moment Gyroscopes). ADCO works in partnership with Russian controllers to manage the station’s orientation, which is controlled by the onboard Motion Control Systems. This position also plans and calculates future orientations and maneuvers for the station. The ADCO Planning EXchange Tool (APEX) streamlines the existing manual and time-intensive ADCO attitude planning tools into a more automated, user-friendly application that interfaces with existing products and allows the ADCO to produce accurate products and timelines more efficiently.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

PROGRAM TEAM: Alfredo Bencomo, John Chachere, Jeremy Frank, Inderjit Grewal, Michael Iatauro, Robert Kanefski, Robert Nado, Greg Orzech, Tristan Smith, Hao Thai, Mei Wei, and Brian Yu

Contact: Jeremy Frank

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