NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Spacecraft Autonomy
PROPOSAL TITLE:A Data Abstraction Architecture for Spacecraft Autonomy

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Traclabs, Inc.
8610 N. New Braunfels, Suite 110
San Antonio, TX 78217-2356
(210) 822-2310

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David   Kortenkamp
1012 Hercules
Houston, TX  78217-2356
(281) 461-7884

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Spacecraft generate huge amounts of data. A significant challenge for
both human operators and autonomous control systems is ensuring that
the right data (and combinations of data) are available at the right
time for control and decision-making and ensuring that the data is at
the right abstraction level. A key part of this process is data
abstraction -- that is converting low-level analog or digital signals
into higher-level data. We are proposing a data abstraction
architecture that provides a provides a tool-box of components,
connections and development environment that allow engineers to build
and maintain data abstraction systems. In addition, having a
well-defined data abstraction architecture allows data displays to be
automatically generated and updated as the architecture develops.
Thus, a data abstraction architecture can support both human
decision-making as well as providing data services to autonomous
control systems. We are also proposing to build an integrated
development environment in which designers or operators can
graphically build data abstraction architectures from standard
components to accomplish their data tasks. Together these provide a
data abstraction architecture that is a key component of NASA's
operational infrastructure and provides a building block for deploying
more advanced autonomy architectures in the future.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The new collection of exploration vehicles (called Constellation) will
require the integration of a variety of software components from a
variety of different contractors. Managing the flow of data from
these components and assembling it into a coherent picture, whether
for human decision-makers or autonomy, will be difficult. A standard
data abstraction architecture will be important. We will target
markets such as the eventual Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) prime
contractor (either Boeing/Northrop or Lockheed Martin). We will also
target NASA Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) as a customer for
data abstraction in ground operations. In addition, robotic missions
and uncrewed space vehicles offer opportunities for deploying data
abstraction architectures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Unmanned vehicles, both air and ground, are becoming more and more
common in battlefield situations. Future Combat Systems (FCS)
envision manned and unmanned vehicles of all sizes working
side-by-side. In addition, Congress has mandated that one-third of
all military vehicles must be unmanned by 2015. Whether these
vehicles are operated remotely or are autonomous they will need data
abstraction architectures. As information streams from these systems
to centralized command and control centers data abstraction and data
presentation will be key. An architecture that allows different
vendors to combine data will be beneficial to the military.
Intelligence agencies offer other applications for a data abstraction
architecture. As data is collected from a variety of assets it needs
to be merged, abstracted and displayed in a variety of forms. Being
able to easily configure a data abstraction architecture for a variety
of different domains will be extremely beneficial.

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
Human-Computer Interfaces
Software Development Environments

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19