HAMMER: Autonomous Mission Management for Satellite Systems
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
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.
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