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HAMMER: Autonomous Mission Management for Satellite Systems

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Traclabs, Inc.
100 Northeast Loop 410 Suite 520 San Antonio, TX -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: HAMMER: Autonomous Mission Management for Satellite Systems
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9453-13-C-0054
Award Amount: $513,481.00


ABSTRACT: Satellite intelligence information is being used increasingly for real-time operations. This requires satellites that can be quickly tasked for new objectives and that can respond to opportunistic situations and external threats. Unfortunately, today's satellites rely on ground operators to control them. This means there is a large delay between when a new task is requested, or a new threat or target of opportunity is identified, and the response by the satellite. TRACLabs proposes the The HAMMER system, which is designed to operate on-board a satellite, controlling the satellite"s goal-oriented activities and responding to threats even when it is not in communication with the ground or when time constraints require immediate response to threats and faults. The HAMMER system attempts to meet mission objectives even in the face of threats and faults. HAMMER prioritizes multiple, competing user goals and requests and determines a satisfactory ordering of satellite tasks to conserve resources and maximize capability. HAMMER autonomously executes the tasks by issuing commands to the host satellite system. BENEFIT: We believe that HAMMER provides the following benefits to the Air Force: 1) Rapid and continuous response: does not require ground to be in the loop; 2) Self-defense responses to threats; 3) Immediate mission replanning due to disturbances or opportunities; 4) Guaranteed safety (from modeled threats, given defensive response capabilities); 5) High-level tasking of spacecraft: planning and execution framework fills in fine-grain command details; and 6) Increased spacecraft productivity: more observations, more tasks accomplished. This work has commercial applications in enabling the automation of vehicles such as satellites, unmanned vehicles (e.g., unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), etc.), and manned vehicles (e.g., aircraft, spacecraft, ships, etc.). This work also has commercial applications in the oil and gas industry and in the industrial robotics industry.

Principal Investigator:

David Kortenkamp
Senior Scientist
(281) 461-7886

Business Contact:

David Kortenkamp
President and CEO
(281) 461-7886
Small Business Information at Submission:

Traclabs, Inc.
100 Northeast Loop 410 Suite 520 San Antonio, TX -

EIN/Tax ID: 202601412
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No