NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X8.01-8873
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technology-Systems Analysis and Infrastructure Modeling
PROPOSAL TITLE: User Interactive Guided Search Design Environment

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
PHOENIX INTEGRATION
1715 Pratt
Blacksburg, VA 24060-0000
(540)961-7215

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott A Ragon
sragon@phoenix-int.com
1715 Pratt
Blacksburg, VA 24060-0000
(540)961-7215

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Phoenix Integration's vision is to create an intuitive human-in-the-loop engineering design environment called Guided Search that leverages recent advances in multi-dimensional visualization techniques, state-of-the-art optimization algorithms, and parallel processing technology. The proposed environment will feature an ongoing two-way interaction between the engineer and an optimization algorithm. The guided search environment will utilize advanced multidimensional graphical displays to suggest promising designs to the engineer, while the engineer will have the ability to accept/reject these designs, suggest different/modified designs, or to reformulate the design problem on-the fly. The guided search environment will be fundamentally different from conventional "black box" approaches to optimization in that the engineer will be an integral part of the optimization process, with the ability to inject his/her knowledge and intuition into the process at any time, thus improving the efficiency of the design process and increasing confidence in the final results. The Guided Search environment will be capable of exercising full-phase, full-breadth mission and system models in a variety of design environments, trade studies, system and investment analysis efforts, and program and technology planning activities. As such, it will be a critical link in achieving NASA's model-based systems engineering goals.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
NASA requires new capabilities to characterize and model technology in terms of performance, risk, and cost, and the means to exercise that knowledge in the context of system-wide trades and design. The proposed guided search environment provides these capabilities by combining model integration, visualization, and optimization tools in a comprehensive user-intuitive package. This environment will be capable of exercising full-phase, full-breadth mission and system models in a variety of environments, trade studies, system and investment analysis efforts, and program and technology planning activities. As such, it will be a critical component in NASA's efforts to develop state-of-the-art Model-Based Design capabilities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed guided search environment can be used by design engineers in a wide variety of high-technology industries to make design trade-offs and to improve the quality, decrease risk, and minimize the cost of their products and processes. The environment can be used during the conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design phases in industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, and oil and gas. The user-interactive nature of the proposed environment will be attractive to engineers who are uncomfortable with traditional "black-box" approaches to design optimization.