Space Collaboration via an Agent Network (SCAN)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-6987
Agency Tracking Number: F083-026-1151
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-026
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400, Woburn, MA, 01801
DUNS: 967259946
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nathan Schurr
 Human-Agent Collaboration
 (781) 496-2453
Business Contact
 Margaret Clancy
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (781) 496-2415
Research Institution
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.

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

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