As more assets are placed in orbit, opportunities emerge to combine various sets of satellites in temporary constellations to perform collaborative image collections. Often, new operations concepts for a satellite or set of satellites emerge after launch. To the degree with which new space assets can be inexpensively and rapidly integrated into temporary or "ad hoc" constellations, will determine whether these new ideas will be implemented or not. On the Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) satellite, a New Millennium Program mission, a number of experiments were conducted and are being conducted to demonstrate various aspects of an architecture that, when taken as a whole, will enable progressive mission autonomy. In particular, the target architecture will use adaptive ground antenna arrays to form, as close as possible, the equivalent of wireless access points for low earth orbiting satellites. Coupled with various ground and flight software and the Internet, the architecture enables progressive mission autonomy. Thus, new collaborative sensing techniques can be implemented post-launch. This paper will outline the overall operations concept and highlight details of both the research effort being conducted in the area of adaptive antenna arrays and some of the related successful autonomy software that has been implemented using EO-1 and other operational satellites.
Recent autonomy experiments conducted on Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) using the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) flight software has been used to classify key features in hyperspectral images captured by EO-1. Furthermore, analysis is performed by this software onboard EO-1 and then used to modify the operational plan without interaction from the ground. This paper will outline the overall operations concept and provide some details and examples of the onboard science processing, science analysis, and replanning.