NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:06 X12.02-9488
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Long-Duration Space Human Factors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Just-in-time simulation platform

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Planet LLC
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717-1961
(608) 827-5555

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Abe E. Megahed
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI  53717-1961
(608) 827-5555

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Long-duration missions may one day present the most demanding situations ever encountered in manned spaceflight. Success will therefore depend on the knowledge and flexibility of the crew and the critical tools at their disposal. This Phase I proposes to combine intelligent tutoring with highly interactive 3D simulation software to create an on-demand situational training and operations support system. This platform will provide a means for Astronauts to assess necessary actions in routine and emergency situations, quickly select from a software-determined selection of simulation-based training materials or job aids, and link to information including logistics or vehicle health status to more effectively conduct tasks in a just-in-time scenario. The Phase I prototype will demonstrate key system functionality as applied to a critical EVA procedure. The Phase II will create a tool for authoring training in this environment, along with a prototype interfaced with an integrated vehicle health management system to provide instant access to repair and maintenance procedures based on system status. Intelligent simulations can also be used in a non-scripted mode for testing of new procedures in emergency situations. Pre-flight, they also serve as more effective ground trainers and provide an interface to simulated equipment for optimization of human interactions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
PLANET can immediately create payload or ISS task trainers to replace paper text-based instructions with portable just-in-time simulations that reduce training time and hardware trainer costs. Simulations can also be used now to optimize user interactions with equipment for far less cost than prototypes. On long-duration missions, this technology provides intelligent guides for training since astronauts will likely perform off-nominal procedures or actions trained for several years in the past. For extensive in-space assembly, Hypercosm could model procedures and assembly information into the display helmet on the next generation spacesuit. These trainers embedded in a vehicle health maintenance system could also greatly improve the crews' ability to perform rapid diagnosis and repair. Simulations would visually map the location of problems and link to simulated repair procedures. Intelligent simulations would also react to errors, external inputs, or changes in data, increasing safety and reliability through faster response time.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Hypercosm has been available commercially for six years, and this proposed work will greatly improve its ability to create the intelligent training applications now in demand by the military, aerospace and commercial maintenance and operations communities. This new simulation method also improves Hypercosm's ability to provide complex medical simulations for non-invasive surgical techniques, procedure training and anatomy guides. PLANET LLC would immediately work to apply this technology to existing contracts with the U.S. Navy and RocketPlane-Kistler for improved operational simulations and design visualizations. The capability for intelligent, interactive simulation will provide a distinct competitive advantage for future partnerships with large-scale training suppliers. The Phase II tool development will also result in a commercial product for intelligent training authors.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Expert Systems
Human-Computer Interfaces
Mission Training
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Development Environments

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19