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OCAMS Release 4 Completes User Acceptance Testing

User acceptance testing for the fourth release of the Orbital Communications Adapter Management System (OCAMS) was completed successfully at Johnson Space Center (JSC) from February 14th - March 4th, 2011. Release 4 completes the automation of the OCA Officer’s routine work in manipulating files onboard the International Space Station, including automated uplink and downlink of files between ground support servers and ISS computers.

OCAMS automation in Release 4 is controlled by procedures that instruct the program to uplink and downlink files, delete/move/copy files and folders, run scripts, interpret error logs, and zip/list directories. OCAMS performs these operations by interacting with JSC’s Electronic Flight Note (EFN) system and the SWRDFSH file transfer program. OCAMS also mirrors, archives, and delivers files, and notifies designated personnel and external systems by applying rules deployed in earlier releases.

BACKGROUND: OCAMS has been deployed in the JSC backroom for managing file transfers between ground support teams and the International Space Station crew since July 2008. OCAMS procedures, written in a language that people can read and write, formally control the program’s operation. Procedures are either scheduled for periodic operations (with the frequency varying from every few minutes to monthly) or submitted as requests to OCAMS. Customers fill in templates that are generated automatically from OCAMS procedures and made available to mission support disciplines through a customized EFN menu.

Using server drop-boxes, EFN, and NOMAD e-mail, OCAMS monitors and coordinates the approval process among support personnel, the flight director, and a flight officer who manages the program. OCAMS validates EFN requests by comparing them to submission requirements and operations permitted by the procedures. The OCAMS GUI shows the status of each automated operation and allows manual overrides at any time. Procedures can be marked as requiring step-by-step supervision (in which case OCAMS indicates exactly which files and folders will be modified) or allowed to run automatically. A procedure editor allows creation and revision permissions and automated operations while OCAMS is running.

OCAMS is a direct application of the Mobile Agents exploration system. An open architecture and interoperability methodology have been generalized to fit multiple network and security protocols within the JSC Mission Control Center. OCAMS is the first application of intelligent multi-agent system technology in NASA’s mission control operations. Release 4 deployment is scheduled for Spring 2011 and will complete a five-year collaboration between ARC and JSC.

COLLABORATORS: ARC/TI: Sue Blumenberg (SGT Inc.), Bill Clancey (ARC/FIHMC), Mike Scott (Dell Services), Chin Seah (SGT Inc.), and Ron van Hoof (Dell Services). JSC: Tim Hall (DO48), Tyler Doubrava (MS4/USA), Deborah Hood (DO47/BAR), Steve Kirk (DO46/USA), Erik Madrid (DO48/Lockheed Martin Corp.), Dan Owen (FDOC/Lockheed Martin Corp.), Chuck Shultz (DA39/Barrios Technology), Jason Toschlog (DO48/USA), and Tyson Tucker (DO47/USA)

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: OCAMS is funded through Intercenter Task Agreement #13011 between Ames’ Intelligent Systems Division and JSC/MOD.

Contact: William J. Clancey

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