Autonomous Mission Operations EXPRESS Autonomous Operations Project (AMO-EXPRESS) - 12.10.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
When future space missions take humans to destinations far from Earth, including asteroids or Mars, communication delays between the distant crew and mission control require crews to work more independently. The Autonomous Mission Operations EXPRESS Autonomous Operations Project (AMO-EXPRESS) tests advanced software and operational concepts to determine how crew members on the International Space Station can automate spacecraft system with less involvement from the ground support staff.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Jeremy D. Frank, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)

  • Jeremy D. Frank, Ph.D., Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Angie Haddock, B.S., Marshall Space Flight Center, AL, United States

  • Developer(s)
    NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States

    Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2014 - September 2014

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • During future missions to distant destinations such as Mars or asteroids, communication between the spacecraft and Earth will be delayed.  This leads to the need for more independent spacecraft crews. The Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO) project demonstrates advanced software to help astronauts automate their spacecraft, thereby requiring less assistance from Earth.

    To test this concept of operations, the EXPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Rack 7 is powered up and configured automatically via a single command from the ground. 



    The AMO-EXPRESS FY14 experiment concept is to automate payload operations via a single command from the ground to initiate automatic configuration of EXPRESS Rack.  The Payload Rack officer operates EXPRESS today, and currently, the Power-on and configuration of the EXPRESS Rack are separate procedures, requiring many synchronized steps.  THE AMO-EXPRESS FY14 Experiment will exhibit that all of the necessary steps can be executed automatically. 

    Automating Payload and ISS Core System Operations via a single command safely operates upstream core systems as part of EXPRESS configuration.  The Thermal and ECLSS control (ISS core commands) are issued as part of configuration.  The activation of the EXPRESS Rack requires handoff of control between POIF and MCC-H today.  The AMO-EXPRESS FY14 Experiment will demonstrate that core and payload system operations can be safely automated in single procedure.

    If EXPRESS 7 exhibits off-nominal behavior during activation or deactivation, the embedded Failure Detection, Analysis and Recovery (FDIR) in automation will include fault detection and recovery.  There is no plan to inject any failures during experiment.  If an anomaly occurs during the experiment, the AMO-EXPRESS FY14 Experiment will validate FDIR during automation.

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    Space Applications

    Missions to asteroids, Mars or other destinations are hampered by communication delays caused by radio signals traveling across long distances. The AMO-EXPRESS project aims to show that complex, multi-step procedures can be packaged and automated so they can be more easily controlled from the ground. The investigation could also improve current technology and operational practices in use on the International Space Station.

    Earth Applications

    Automating complicated mechanical processes reduces errors and delays in places or conditions where communications are slow, patchy or limited. Automated commanding helps in situations when prior training is limited, or when contact with remote experts is delayed or not possible. Applications include natural disaster areas, underground mines, and telemedicine.

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    Operational Requirements

    Repeated from the IDRD Requirements above:


    Every three weeks for a period of three months, there needs to be two 5 minute PRO activities (AMO-EXPRESS).  The activities need to be spaced out at least 45 minutes apart, for the first activity will be the ER7 activation, and it will take between 30-45 minutes to compete the activation of ER7.  These activities will require S-Band and Ku-Band in order to view the activation/deactivation via displays on the ground while the Timeliner bundle(s) execute on-orbit.


    The time required to perform the AMO-EXPRESS will include the following: 

    • ER7 Activation (First 5 minute activity)
    • ER7 Deactivation (Second 5 minute activity)

    Activity Duration Execution Notes Ops Notes
    AMO-EXPRESS ACT 00:05 The MSFC PRO will execute a single button function procedure from the ground via Timeliner to power up and configure EXPRESS Rack 7. Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO) EXPRESS Activation of EXPRESS Rack 7.
    AMO-EXPRESS DEACT 00:05 The MSFC PRO will execute a single button function procedure from the ground via Timeliner to deactivate EXPRESS Rack 7. Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO) EXPRESS deactivation of EXPRESS Rack 7.


    These activities do not require crew time.


    Operational Protocols
    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information
    Information Pending

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    Related Websites
    AMO - Jeremy Frank
    NASA AMO - Facebook

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    NASA Image: ISS034E036794 - View of Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 7 (LAB1P2). Photo was taken during Expedition 34. 

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    A novel procedure interface technology, the WebPD, displays the state of procedure execution while the EXPRESS Rack is powered up and configured. (NASA Ames Image)

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    Testing the AMO EXPRESS experiment in the AMO Laboratory at MSFC. (NASA Ames Image)

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