Managing and scheduling a set of resources with complex rules and constraints to satisfy user requests is not a simple problem. Attempts to automate and optimize resource management (RM) and beams scheduling of a ground network of antennas for concurrent links (contacts) to multiple satellites has not been very successful, especially for a very large global antenna network like the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN). The difficulties are due to dynamic change of scheduling rules and availability of antenna resources, complex issue of resource contention with time and space constraints, on-demand or special equipment configuration requests from users, operational constraints such as radio frequency interference, and high computational complexity for a near-optimal solution. The problem becomes more complicated with the introduction of multi-beam phased array antennas with new concept of operations in gain-on-demand, beam walking and beam de-confliction for simultaneous multiple contacts by a single operating antenna.
Manual scheduling of a large number of antennas spread around the globe with tens of concurrent satellite contacts is labor intensive, time consuming, and inefficient. The primary objective of this effort is to develop innovative technologies to enable an automated solution to near-optimal RM and beam scheduling of a large, globally distributed antenna network. The RM concept thus developed should be scalable, modular and portable for universal applicability to a wide range of antenna networks and operational constraints, and flexible to accommodate the Air Force Satellite Control Network’s new satellite operational needs.