The AMM Automated Mission Planner computer program was developed to save time and money by automating much of the planning of the Second RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Mission (AMM), which was scheduled to take place at the time of writing this article. The planning problem for this and other RADARSAT missions is to select several hundred synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) swaths that satisfy scientific objectives, which include coverage of a specified ground area. The selection is subject to constraints associated with the choice of downlink opportunities and with RADARSAT operation. These constraints interact in complex ways that make it difficult to design schedules manually. The software takes a set of SAR swaths and automatically generates a locally optimal downlink schedule and identifies violations of operational constraints; in so doing, the software frees the mission planner to concentrate on selecting swaths that satisfy scientific objectives. Mission-planning time has thus been reduced from years to weeks.

This program was written by Barbara Engelhardt, Steve Chien, Russell Knight, Benjamin Smith, Darren Mutz, Robert Sherwood, Gregg Rabideau, and John Crawford of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp 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-21092.