Autonomous Mission Operations EXPRESS 2.0 Project (AMO-EXPRESS 2.0) - 09.13.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
When future space travelers venture far from Earth, communications between their spacecraft and ground control will be delayed by several minutes or hours, which will require crews and spacecraft to operate on their own. The Autonomous Systems and Operations (ASO) project tests software that enables crew members to operate equipment on the International Space Station (ISS) without assistance from ground controllers. The Autonomous Mission Operations EXPRESS 2.0 Project (AMO-Express-2.0) investigation tests a simple single-button control system for the EXPRESS Rack, which stores scientific experiments.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Angie Haddock, B.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: AMO

Principal Investigator(s)
Angie Haddock, B.S., Marshall Space Flight Center, AL, United States

Jeremy D. Frank, Ph.D., NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States
Lui Wang, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - April 2017

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
AMO-EXPRESS 2.0 is building upon the previous AMO-EXPRESS experiment, using lessons learned from the ISS as a Testbed for Analog Research (ISTAR) Procedure automation experiments, as well as the AMO TOCA SSC experiment.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Future space travel to distance destinations increases communication lag between the spacecraft and Earth. The necessity for more autonomous spacecraft crews is needed. The Autonomous Systems and Operations (ASO) project validates forward-looking software to assist astronauts in operating spacecraft equipment with no assistance from ground controllers.
  • To test this concept of operations, a piece of equipment onboard ISS (the EXPRESS Rack 7) is powered up and configured onboard via a single command by an ISS crew member using specially designed software (the WebPD application) on a Payload Portable Computer System (PCS). Autonomous Mission Operations EXPRESS 2.0 Project (AMO-Express 2.0) evaluates new remote capabilities which include:
    • Autonomously Powering Up and Configuring an EXPRESS Rack via a single button function
    • Autonomously Powering Down an EXPRESS Rack via a single button function
    • Autonomously recovery from any failures during the power-up, configuration or shutdown activities.

The Autonomous Mission Operations EXPRESS 2.0 Project (AMO-Express-2.0) FY16 experiment concept is to automate payload operations via a single command from an ISS crew member 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 core and payload procedures, requiring many synchronized steps. AMO-EXPRESS 2.0 demonstrates 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 the Payload Operations Integration Function and the Mission Control Center-Houston today. The AMO-EXPRESS 2.0 investigation demonstrates that core and payload system operations can be safely automated in single procedure on-orbit via an ISS crew member. If EXPRESS 7 exhibits off-nominal behavior during activation or deactivation, the embedded Failure Detection, Analysis and Recovery (FDIR) in automation include fault detection and recovery. There is no plan to inject any failures during the experiment. If an anomaly occurs during the experiment, the AMO-EXPRESS 2.0 experiment validates FDIR during automation.

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Space Applications
Current procedures for turning on and setting up the experimental EXPRESS Racks are complex and require several synchronized steps. This investigation demonstrates that those steps can be automated, saving crew member time. Automating software procedures could help future crews manage spacecraft systems with less assistance from Earth, which is important as space missions travel to Mars, asteroids and other distant destinations.

Earth Applications
Automating complex procedures for scientific equipment has benefits for researchers and other people on Earth, including in scientific laboratories, research vessels at sea, and in underground mines.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
After the initial installation of the Payload Portable Computer System (PCS), there needs to be three 20-minute crew activities (AMO-EXPRESS 2.0), once every three weeks for a period of three months. These activities can be back to back. These activities 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 ISS crew member loads the designated Portable Computer System (PCS) with the PCS Release 17 Patch and installs the designated PCS into the Payload Portal. The crew member executes a single button function on the Payload Portable Computer System (PCS) to power up and configure EXPRESS Rack 7. The crew member executes a single button function on the PCS to deactivate EXPRESS Rack 7.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Astronaut Reid Wiseman (foreground) working in International Space Station floats above hardware.  Wiseman is using software on a tablet.  (NASA Image)

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Early design of software user interface to manage autonomous operation of ISS hardware. (NASA Ames Image)

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