Distributed Satellite Constellation Planning and Scheduling

Robert A. Richards, Ryan T. Houlette, and John L. Mohammed, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc., USA

SHAI is developing a software architecture for automated, distributed planning and coordination of constellations of satellites. This architecture allows large satellite constellations to manage themselves with minimal human oversight. SHAI is utilizing an integrated approach drawing upon a broad range of A! and non-Al techniques. Advanced planning and scheduling algorithms permit the system to quickly create complex plans satisfying intricate time and other constraints. A reactive planning component deals with unexpected, time-critical local events such as new critical tasks. In addition, a knowledge base stores information about the satellites’ capabilities and commitments that is used during the distributed planning process to properly allocate tasks to the satellites best suited to perform them. The resulting architecture provides the capacity for robust, scalable management of satellite constellations. The potential benefits are reduced costs, increased operational efficiency, and improved robustness. A prototype utilizing a subset of the architecture has been built and verified.

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