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OCAMS System Release 2.0 Deployed in JSC Mission Control

The second release of the Orbital Communications Adapter Monitoring System (OCAMS) was installed for International Space Station (ISS) operations on April 2, 2009. This version significantly extends the automation of the OCA Officer’s work with the addition of two new capabilities:

  1. Automated archiving of files that are uplinked to or downlinked from the ISS
  2. Automated logging of file archiving operations for the shift handover log

Automation is controlled by rules that specify which files to mirror and archive and where to put them. R2.0 introduces a rule editor that enables creating, modifying, and deleting file-handling rules, making programming unnecessary when new kinds of files requiring mirroring or archiving are introduced or customer requirements change.

OCA Officers estimate that OCAMS R2.0, combined with the mirroring automation introduced with the first release of OCAMS in July 2008, will on average reduce time required for routine work by 50%. This reduction is enabling better response to unexpected situations and consolidation of backroom positions later this year.

BACKGROUND: OCAMS is the first application of intelligent multi-agent system (MAS) technology in NASA’s mission control operations. OCAMS was developed using NASA Ames’s Brahms multi-agent software tools. Brahms provides a “from simulation to implementation” software engineering methodology, in which a multi-agent simulation of people’s work practice is turned into a multi-agent workflow system that automates part of the process and integrates seamlessly with existing work practices and systems.

OCAMS is a partnership project between researchers and developers from NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)’s Intelligent Systems Division and flight controllers from NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). Installation was performed in collaboration with the JSC Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) Facilities Development and Operations Contract (FDOC)


  • JSC: Anthony Bruins (DD22), Tim Hall (DO48), Deborah Hood (DO47, BAR), Tyson Tucker (DO47, USA), Jason Toschlog (DO47, USA)
  • FDOC/Lockheed Martin: Howard (Wes) Neill, Michael McKibbin, Jason Walker
  • ARC/TI: Sue Blumenberg (SGT Inc.), Bob Nado (SGT Inc.), Mike Scott (Perot Systems), Chin Seah (SGT Inc.), Ron van Hoof (Perot Systems)

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: OCAMS is funded through an Intercenter Task Agreement between JSC/MOD and the Ames Intelligent Systems Division.

Contact: Bill Clancey (ARC/IHMC); Maarten Sierhuis (ARC/CMU)


The Orbital Communications Adapter (OCA) Officer is responsible for uplinking and downlinking all files to and from the International Space Station. These files include schedules, procedures, commands, email, photographs, health data, newspapers, etc. The agent-based OCA Mirroring System (OCAMS) developed at Ames automates part of the OCA Officer's workload.

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