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OCAMS Project Equipment Review Meeting

Ames researchers developing the Orbital Communications Adapter Mirroring System (OCAMS) participated in the seven-year equipment replacement (OCA ER) review meeting, as part of the certification process for deploying OCAMS in the OCA backroom of Mission Control at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in the next 4–9 months.

The OCA ER System Functional Design Review (SFDR) was presented March 17, 2008 by the MSOC (Lockheed-Martin) team to the JSC Mission Operations Directorate (MOD). As a result of the four-hour presentation, the OCAMS team has submitted 13 Review Item Dispositions (RIDs) to modify the OCA operations and equipment design. The RIDs focus on hardware, software, networking, concepts of operations, and security issues that OCAMS will change in the OCA backroom. These RIDs are scheduled to be incorporated within a month by MSOC to produce the OCAMS SFDR. At that time, the OCAMS preliminary service request is expected to mature to SR status and become part of the OCA equipment replacement process scheduled for completion within a year.

The path to deployment of OCAMS will require enhanced processes for testing and system modification. These enhanced processes will enable testing OCAMS and other advanced technology that integrates and partially automates communication across organizational lines. The OCAMS team has been contributing to the solution of testing and security problems for next-generation mission operations systems.

The OCAMS team also spent two days observing and documenting OCA backroom observations to prepare for automation of the archiving and notification functions of the OCA Officer. Discussions were also held about additional opportunities for OCAMS-like systems in MOD to facilitate reduction in International Space Station (ISS) operations costs of 30% by 2012.

BACKGROUND: The ISS OCA Officer is responsible for manually uplinking and downlinking all files to and from the ISS in the OCA backroom at JSC. These files include schedules, procedures, commands, e-mail, photographs, health data, newspapers, etc. Computer scientists in the Intelligent Systems Division of NASA Ames, within the Work Systems Design & Evaluation Group, have studied and simulated OCA work practices in collaboration with the OCA team to identify possible process improvements. Using statistics generated from the Brahms simulation model, the team designed and simulated an agent-based workflow system that automates the process of creating a ground-based replica of the ISS file system (the MirrorLAN). Simulation statistics predict a reduction in mirroring time from 6% to .6% of the OCA Officer’s shift. Using the Simulation-to-Implementation engineering method, Brahms agents were then converted into the run-time tool OCAMS. Using the Brahms Virtual Machine, OCAMS agents manage the workflow on multiple computers and servers using secure communications provided by the Brahms Collaborative Infrastructure. The tool also automatically writes large parts of the OCA Handover Log.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: OCAMS is funded as the OCA Mirroring System (OCAMS) ITA 9277 between JSC’s MOD and the Ames Intelligent Systems Division. The Collaborative Infrastructure has been funded by the Exploration Technology Development Program (A4O)

COLLABORATORS: Tony Bruins (JSC), Chris Buckley (JSC), Tim Hall (JSC), Deborah Hood (JSC/USA), Brian Anderson (JSC), Chin Seah (Code TI, SAIC), Mike Scott (Code TI, Perot Systems), Ron van Hoof (Code TI, Perot Systems), and other OCA officers

Contact: Bill Clancey, Maarten Sierhuis


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