We have built our existing Freedom Platform as a cloud based SAAS system with one main goal: simplicity. Every feature we add is driving towards a vision of reducing the complexity of ground system operations and access. We propose a technical solution that removes much of the constellation planning daily grind from the customer so they can concentrate on exploiting their data. The end result is a reduced staff, less room for error, and optimized access to data. ATLAS currently uses a generalized highly parallelizable, polynomial-time schedule algorithm called the Flex Scheduler for task deconfliction across multiple ground systems with many customers. The Flex Scheduler is built to support task requests and optimize deconfliction. It is important to note that this approach is the only way to achieve higher utilization of ground systems due to its ability to “load balance” across many ground systems and generate a globally optimal utilization plan. Without giving the customer the ability to generalize their requests a scheduling system can only be a deconfliction algorithm, not a system wide optimization function. Where most scheduling systems are intended for one satellite constellation, the Flex Scheduler is federated across all ATLAS owned systems and considers all customers simultaneously. Federation of the data allows for deeper insights. To improve the Freedom Platform and take it to the next level, we propose the following:
System Wide Load Balancing: Define clear goals and allow the customer to adjust their importance, develop a task decomposition phase that generates task requests, and feed them into the lower lever Flex Scheduler.
Time Reduction: Abstract the management into a simple to understand set of goals that the customer can adjust on a day to day basis.
Rapid Re-Scheduling via Machine to Machine: Define a concise, cloud hosted, API that allows the submission of task requests along with metadata / spacecraft state parameters.
NASA can benefit from the Freedom Platform by integrating any aperture on any network seamlessly and securely, not just on NASA assets. Freedom is a resilient, responsive, and scalable solution. The Freedom Platform can integrate disparate systems into a neural network to capitalize on the synergy of combining existing and future systems. NASA is in the position to influence the development of this leveraging the computing power of the cloud capability to meet their current and future needs.
While human interaction has worked for years, it will soon become impossible to keep up with demand as data and satellite contacts increase in volume. It is not a matter of “if,” but “when” satellite operations must transition to a cognitive machine-to-machine approach. Our study will demonstrate that cognitive planning is viable and show how best to modernize current satellite planning practices.