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An Autonomous Science Agent has been flying onboard the Earth Observing One Spacecraft since 2003. This software enables the spacecraft to autonomously observe, detect, and respond to science events occurring on the Earth such as volcanoes, flooding, and sea ice breakup. This software, called the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE), includes AI software systems that perform science data analysis, deliberative planning, and run-time robust execution. ASE is in routine use controlling the EO-1 mission and has successfully acquired over a thousand images. More recently ASE has been integrated with dozens of other assets to form an earth observing sensorweb to to autonomously track volcanoes, floods, and wild fires. In this talk we describe the ASE software as well as how autonomous systems enable revolutionary new missions of space exploration.
Dr. Steve Chien is a Principal Computer Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology where he leads efforts in autonomous space systems and is the Principal Investigator for the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment. Dr. Chien is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Computer Science of the University of Southern California and a Visiting Scholar at UCLA. He holds a B.S. with Highest Honors in Computer Science, with minors in Mathematics and Economics, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, all from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Chien was a recipient of the 1995 Lew Allen Award for Excellence. In 1997, he received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work in research and development of planning and scheduling systems for NASA. He is the Team Lead for the ASPEN Planning System , which received Honorable Mention in the 1999 Software of the Year Competition and was a contributor to the Remote Agent System which was a co-winner in the same 1999 competition. In 2000, he received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for service and leadership in research and deployment of planning and scheduling systems for NASA.