Autonomous Mission Management for Satellite Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-10-C-0031
Agency Tracking Number: F083-196-2008
Amount: $749,642.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-196
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
100 Northeast Loop 410, Suite 520, San Antonio, TX, 78216
DUNS: 193786014
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Kortenkamp
 (281) 461-7884
Business Contact
 David Kortenkamp
Title: President
Phone: (281) 461-7884
Research Institution
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. The usefulness of satellites and satellite information would be increased if the satellites could respond quickly and effectively with limited ground operator interaction. In addition, because satellites are increasingly important to modern warfare they also face increasing threats from anti-satellite weapons. Thus, they need a means to effectively and autonomously respond to these threats. This proposal offers an integrated planning and scheduling architecture for autonomously managing satellite missions called the Highly Autonomous Mission Manager for Event Response (HAMMER) system. The HAMMER system will allow a satellite to operate and respond to threats even when it is not in communication with the ground or when time constraints require immediate response to threats. The HAMMER system will attempt to meet mission objectives even in the face of threats. HAMMER will prioritize multiple, competing user goals and requests and determine an optimal ordering of satellite tasks to conserve resources and maximize capability. HAMMER will also ensure that the plan is safe from known threats to the satellite. BENEFIT: This proposal will produce a collection of software components that will enable 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.). DOD applications include the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN), the Air Force Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program, programs such as Global Hawk and Predator UAVs, Joint STARS ground surveillance systems and various ELINT/COMINT assets, the Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Army Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. NASA has similar needs to DOD in enabling more autonomy for both manned and unmanned spacecraft. Commercial aerospace companies operate numerous satellites for communication, navigation and imaging. These satellites systems are currently controlled from the ground operations. Increasing the autonomy of these satellites can save money and improve efficiency.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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