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Software Automates Repetitive Functions in Orbital Communications
August 16, 2011

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Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a software application that automates the repetitive and routine work of flight controllers in the office of the Orbital Communication Adapter (OCA). The OCA Management System (OCAMS) has taken over many logging, file-handling, and archiving tasks previously performed by trained OCA officers working with the International Space Station (ISS) program. The OCAMS solution is a simulation-to-implementation, multi-agent system development methodology that combines ethnography, participatory design, multi-agent simulation, and agent-based systems integration. The innovation models, simulates, and then automates tasks related to communications over the KU-Band with the ISS. OCAMS automations have led to a 30 percent staff reduction within the OCA Office, allowing flight controllers to focus on more complex priority tasks and less on simple file and data management. OCAMS employs the Brahms multi-agent programming language to automate tasks and leverage network infrastructure to distribute information. The technology simulates current and future environments to demonstrate gains or proposed outcomes. The application contains a system-integration architecture in which software agents link arbitrary hardware and software systems to distributed teams of people on Earth and in space, a solution that will continue to be needed for future human space flight.


  • Efficient: Automates repetitive and administrative console tasks and multiple types of data management, allowing engineers to focus on more abstract console operations
  • Platform Independent: Software was developed using Java® software and can be executed on any leading operating system platform
  • Integrated: Links arbitrary hardware and software systems with distributed teams of people on Earth and in space

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.


  • Organization seeking a comprehensive simulation and modeling solution to optimize communications across disparate networks, platforms, and applications

Licensing and Partnering Opportunity

This technology is being made available through JSC's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:

Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center
Phone: 281-483-3809
E-mail: jsc-techtran@mail.nasa.gov

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