SAN MATEO, Calif., 24 March 2006. The United Space Alliance (USA) has engaged Stottler Henke Associates Inc. to develop an in-flight version of its Aurora intelligent scheduling software for proposed use on board the United States' next-generation manned spacecraft. The system is designed to be used by astronauts to schedule their activities on the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), due to launch in 2008.
USA, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp., is responsible for human space flight operations in the U.S. Stottler Henke received a 13-month, $300,000 development contract from USA.
Stottler Henke's Aurora software will be incorporated into Temporis, a system USA is creating to streamline the scheduling process. Using Temporis, astronauts will be able to schedule all aspects of their in-flight lives, such as conducting on-board experiments.
The Aurora scheduling system combines a variety of scheduling techniques, intelligent conflict resolution, and decision support to make Shuttle ground process scheduling faster and easier. The software's scheduling decisions take into account resource requirements, a variety of constraints, and any pertinent domain knowledge.
The new version of Aurora for Temporis will feature a flexible Java API (application programming interface) that allows GUI (graphical user interface) developers to specify activities, resources, and constraints in Aurora.
During scheduling, Aurora returns time and resource assignment updates through the API, along with any conflicts that were generated.