An AI Planning-based Tool for Scheduling Satellite Nominal Operations
Satellite domains are becoming a fashionable area of research within the AI community due to the complexity of the problems that satellite domains need to solve. With the current U.S. and European focus on launching satellites for communication, broadcasting, or localization tasks, among others, the automatic control of these machines becomes an important problem. Many new techniques in both the planning and scheduling fields have been applied successfully, but still much work is left to be done for reliable autonomous architectures. The purpose of this article is to present CONSAT, a real application that plans and schedules the performance of nominal operations in four satellites during the course of a year for a commercial Spanish satellite company, HISPASAT. For this task, we have used an AI domain-independent planner that solves the planning and scheduling problems in the HISPASAT domain thanks to its capability of representing and handling continuous variables, coding functions to obtain the operators' variable values, and the use of control rules to prune the search. We also abstract the approach in order to generalize it to other domains that need an integrated approach to planning and scheduling.
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