The RadarSAT-MAMM Automated Mission Planner

Benjamin D. Smith, Barbara E. Engelhardt, Darren H. Mutz

The RadarSAT Modified Antarctic Mapping Mission (MAMM) ran from September to November 2000. It consisted of over 2400 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data takes over Antarctica that had to satisfy coverage and other scientific criteria while obeying tight resource and operational constraints. Developing these plans is a time and knowledge intensive effort. It required over a work-year to manually develop a comparable plan for AMM-1, the precursor mission to MAMM. This paper describes the automated mission planning system for MAMM, which dramatically reduced mission-planning costs to just a few workweeks, and enabled rapid generation of "what-if" scenarios for evaluating mission-design trades. This latter capability informed several critical design decisions and was instrumental in accurately costing the mission.


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