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Space Collaboration via an Agent Network (SCAN)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400 Woburn, MA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Space Collaboration via an Agent Network (SCAN)
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-09-M-6987
Award Amount: $100,000.00


With the increased deployment and use of space assets, a number of interesting and challenging problems have come to the fore. The persistent nature of space surveillance, the mass of data, the varied sources, and the heterogeneous needs of consumers and producers, all point to a pressing need for an enhanced Space Situation Awareness picture, that can only be achieved by a coordinated, collaborative approach to the collection, dissemination and sharing of information. This provides Aptima the opportunity to demonstrate an innovative, agent-based approach to enhance the collaboration among the various agency producers and consumers of space information. Our proposed approach is titled Space Collaboration via an Agent Network (SCAN) and it enables proxy agents to represent each of the stakeholder agencies for space. Consequently SCAN agent network will facilitate collaboration by identifying opportunities and methods of collaboration as well. The SCAN agents will be equipped with: 1. Knowledge and Mental Models of Human Operators, 2. Collaboration Methods and Barriers to Collaboration, and 3. Integrating Solutions that Conform to Preferred Workflows. Aptima will leverage its experience in designing sociotechnical systems, space and collaboration in order to ensure that SCAN is both a feasible and useful tool for space collaboration. BENEFIT: Engage the Operational Community. Aptima holds the input of the operational community in great regard and is determined to engage users and experts early in the process. Survey of the data landscape. We will survey the data currently available to monitor and predict space weather and its effect on satellite tasking. This will include fundamental physical phenomena detected by sensors as well as integrated information sources such as Space situation awareness Environmental Effects Fusion system (SEEFS). The extent to which adversary action can be characterized will also be amassed. Identify barriers to collaboration. Aptima is keenly aware that the current dearth of collaboration is not simply a function of limited tools. There are significant social and organizational obstacles that must be overcome as well. Develop model for agent facilitated collaboration. These collaborative SCAN proxy agents will serve not only to identify collaboration opportunities, but also provide methods to overcoming these aforementioned barriers. The aim is to eventually have these collaborative agents integrated with existing workflow structures.

Principal Investigator:

Nathan Schurr
Human-Agent Collaboration

Business Contact:

Margaret J. Clancy
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

12 Gill Street Suite 1400 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043281859
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No