NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X1.01-8449
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automation for Vehicle and Habitat Operations
PROPOSAL TITLE: SAFE-P: System for Assurance of Flight Executable Procedures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
211 N. First St., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 1480
(612) 339-7438

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Musliner
211 N. First St., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 1480
(763) 449-9373

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Ensuring that command execution scripts do not deviate from Standard
Operating Procedures (SOPs) is time-consuming, costly, and
error-prone. Deviations can be inefficient or hazardous.


We propose to design and develop SAFE-P, an interactive tool to ensure
conformance between command scripts and procedures, or guide users to
clarify their rationale for deviations. Using semantic differencing
and formal verification of bisimulation relations, SAFE-P will ensure
that the scripts comply with SOPs and will highlight differences for
the operators, so that they can double-check their work and confirm
any deviations from standard procedures.

SAFE-P's design will begin with relatively simple syntactic mechanisms
to find differences between command sequences and textual procedures
that can be applied directly to current flight control practices,
including the use of SOPs captured in simple XML or PDF files and
command scripts in ThinLayer. To reduce false error detection and
assess the criticality of differences, we will incorporate knowledge
of the space platform's architecture.

For future missions, we will extend SAFE-P to richer languages (PRL,
PLEXIL, SCL) and employ more complex verification of
program-equivalence relationships (bisimulation) to ensure conformance
between scripts and procedures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed SAFE-P tool will be applicable to a wide variety of NASA
missions including ISS, Shuttle, and Constellation operations. For
manned and unmanned spacecraft operations, SAFE-P will bridge a
critical gap in NASA's safety procedures, preventing the possibility
of inadvertent commands that do not conform to standard operating
procedures and that could lead to dangerous or even catastrophic

SAFE-P fits directly within NASA's Automation for Operations (A4O)
system concept, helping support significant reductions in operations
costs and increases in operational efficiency while maintaining or
improving system safety. The SAFE-P tool will be designed to
integrate with NASA's Procedure Integrated Development Environment
(PRIDE), seamlessly supporting efficient development of future
executable procedures and scripts.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Large-scale industrial control systems, in particular oil refineries,
paper mills, and food processing plants, also maintain a large library
of standard operating procedures which have been developed by system
designers and installers. These must be adapted on a daily basis to
the specific system configuration and product targets for manual or
automatic execution. The SAFE-P technology will be directly
applicable to ensuring that industrial plants' daily operating plans
and scripts conform to the standard operating procedures.

SAFE-P technology may also be applied when manually-operated
industrial control systems are being transitioned to more automated
control systems, to verify that newly-written executable control
scripts conform to legacy manual (textual) operating procedures.

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
Expert Systems
Human-Computer Interfaces
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Development Environments
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56