NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X1.01-9152
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automation for Vehicle and Habitat Operations
PROPOSAL TITLE: Enhancing NASA’s Procedure Representation Language to Support Planning Operations

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Traclabs, Inc.
8610 N. New Braunfels, Suite 110
San Antonio, TX 78217 - 4486
(210) 822-2310

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Russell Bonasso
8610 N. New Braunfels, Suite 110
San Antonio, TX 78217 - 4486
(281) 461-7884

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract:

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Automation and autonomy are key elements in realizing the vision for space exploration. The NASA Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) has been developing a procedure representation language (PRL) that both captures the form of traditional procedures and allows for automatic translation into code that can be executed by NASA-developed autonomous executives. However, PRL is in a relative infancy with regard to supporting many of the autonomous software components being developed by NASA, specifically automated planners and schedulers. In this proposal we will design and test additional representations to PRL for resources, inter-procedure constraints and subprocedures so that automated planners can take better advantage of the PRL-generated procedures. The work plan includes developing scenarios and use cases, developing requirements for planning -- both manual and automated -- from the scenarios, developing XML tags for the PRL changes, testing the PRL enhancements in the use cases with robotic and life support simulations, and translating the changes into planning languages with proven semantics.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Procedures are at the core of all NASA missions. Mission planning is also at the core of all space missions due to the high cost of space assets such as astronauts, equipment and communication links. Our technologies will have applications from Mission Control to on-board NASA vehicles and outposts. We expect applications of our technology to immediately impact NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). Two areas of ETDP will be immediate beneficiaries of this technology. First, the Centaur robot at NASA JSC is already using a preliminary version of PRL and a simple user interface to allow a remote supervisor to command the Centaur over a communication link. Our work will provide connection to automated planning technologies. Second, the Automation for Operations (A4O) project run out of NASA ARC is using PRL to enhance spacecraft operations. Our PRL extensions and planning technology would also be immediately applicable to spacecraft operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The military is currently a large customer for unmanned vehicle operations. 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. As these unmanned vehicles are increasingly deployed in tandem with dismounted forces coordinating software will be necessary to ensure successful operations. Procedures and mission planning play a large role in these kinds of operations. TRACLabs Inc. has an existing relationship with the Army's unmanned ground vehicle center at the TARDEC (Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center) facility in Warren Michigan. The Army has established a new Joint Center for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (JC-UGV) at TARDEC with a new Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL).

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 Control and Monitoring
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50