An artificial-intelligence computer program generates and evaluates plans for spacecraft missions subject to constraints associated with spacecraft designs. The input to the program includes spacecraft design parameters (e.g., slew rates and battery capacities) and mission parameters (e.g., requested scientific observations, frequency of communication passes, and trajectory). The program generates a mission-activity plan for attaining mission goals without violating constraints (e.g., for making all desired observations within the available time). The program makes it possible to perform rapid evaluations of multiple candidate designs against a given mission scenario by generating plans for each design and automatically evaluating them against objective criteria. Alternatively, the program can also be used to perform “what-if” evaluations. This program can be used early in the spacecraft-design and spacecraft-mission- planning process, thereby helping to ensure that a spacecraft design and mission plan are consistent with each other; more specifically, the program can show how a given design can be expected to perform in a given mission scenario, and on the basis of the program output, one can modify the design and/or the mission to improve performance.

This program was written by Steve Chien, Barbara Engelhardt, Darren Mutz, Russell Knight, Gregg Rabideau, Robert Sherwood, Ben Smith, Colette Wilklow, and Jason Willis of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393- 3425. Refer to NPO-21000.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Unfortunately the TSP Software for Automated Planning of Spacecraft Missions (reference NPO-21000) appears to be missing from our system.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance in retrieving it.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2002 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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