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OCAMS Release 2 Testing at Ames

The week of November 3, the OCAMS team performed an integration test at NASA Ames for Release 2 of the OCAMS agent system. Release 2 is scheduled to be installed in Mission Control at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in January 2009. A user test with JSC end users was conducted the second week in December.

This OCAMS release will deploy Brahms software agent technology for a new Orbital Communication Adapter (OCA) archiving function, OCA rule editor capability, and updates to the previously supported OCA mirroring function. OCA Officers are currently manually archiving each file uplinked or downlinked from the International Space Station (ISS). With this automation, around 40% of the total work of the OCA officer will be automated.

The OCAMS rule editor application is a new application allowing the OCA officers to modify the decision-making rules used by the OCAMS agents. This allows the OCA Officers to change the way the OCAMS agents perform their functions, without the OCAMS developers having to change the source code. The rule editor feature will reduce the maintenance and deployment cost of the OCAMS system and free up valuable development time for the OCAMS team.

BACKGROUND: The ISS OCA Officer is responsible for manually uplinking and downlinking all files to and from the ISS in the OCA backroom (Building 30S MPSR) at JSC. These files include schedules, procedures, commands, e-mail, photographs, health data, news, etc. Computer scientists in the Work Systems Design & Evaluation Group of the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames have studied and simulated OCA officer 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 predicted a reduction in mirroring time from 6% to 0.6% of the OCA Officer’s shift – a 90% reduction. Using the Simulation-to-Implementation engineering method, Brahms agents were then converted into a run-time tool called OCAMS. Using the Brahms Virtual Machine, these 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.

COLLABORATORS: Brian Anderson (JSC/DA), Sue Blumenberg (ARC/TI, SGT), Justin Brooks (JSC/DV, LM12), Anthony Bruins (JSC/DD22), Chris Buckley (JSC/DO47, USA), Tim Hall (JSC/DO48), Deborah Hood (JSC/DO47, BAR), Ron van Hoof (ARC/TI, Perot Systems), Robert Nado (ARC/TI, SGT), Mike Scott (ARC/TI, Perot Systems), Chin Seah (ARC/TI, SGT), Tyson Tucker (JSC/DO47, USA), Jason Toschlog (JSC/DO47, USA), Robert Wesson (JSC/DV, LM12), and other OCA officers.

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

Contact: Bill Clancey, Maarten Sierhuis


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