NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 X1.01-9682
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automation for Vehicle and Habitat Operations
PROPOSAL TITLE: Embedding Procedure Assistance into Mission Control Tools

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Traclabs, Inc.
100 N.E. Loop 410 Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 3586
(210) 822-2310

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Kortenkamp
1012 Hercules
Houston, TX 77058 - 4727
(281) 281-7884

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Procedures are the accepted means of commanding spacecraft. Procedures
encode the operational knowledge of a system as derived from system
experts, testing, training and experience. In current Space Shuttle and ISS operations procedures are displayed using applications separate from the applications used to display commands and telemetry. This means that procedures cannot interact with commands and telemetry to help an operator's situation awareness. This leads to slower procedure performance and greater opportunity for errors. TRACLabs is building on existing NASA Constellation program technology to combine procedures, commanding and telemetry into a single, consistent framework in which to operate space vehicles. Instead of viewing procedures in static displays, flight controllers will have interactive, reconfigurable procedure displays and assistants that can be tailored for specific situations. The displays will have different views tailored to specific operations, including browsing, assigning, editing, executing and monitoring procedures. A procedure executive automates some procedure execution and provides procedure assistance. Automation is always under the control of the flight controller via level of automation feature. Each step or instruction of a procedure can be labeled as manual, automated or consent. This will increase the efficiency of procedure performance and reduce procedure errors.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We have identified four NASA programs that can immediately use the results of this project to enhance their current and future capabilities. These programs are:

* Constellation Procedure Application Software Suite (CxPASS): This program is chartered with providing software support and requirements for both on-board and ground procedure viewing and execution for all Constellation vehicles including Orion. Phase I discussions with CxPASS personnel have identified key areas of mutual interest including procedure viewing, procedure editing and situation awareness.

* Mission Controls Technology (MCT): This program is producing the next generation command and telemetry software application for the Mission Control Center (MCC). This project is intended to provide procedure capability to MCT.

* Automation for Operations (A4O). This research program is producing prototype software systems to demonstrate advanced automation capabilities to Constellation. We expect that the software produced in this project will be used by A4O as their procedure display environment for forthcoming demonstrations.

* Lunar Surface Systems (LSS). This program is developing concepts for Lunar habitation and robotics infrastructure. Procedures will be a core part of operating Lunar surface assets. This project can provide procedure assistance software to LSS for testing of their operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
All complex systems use procedures as the core of their operations. Industries such as refineries, petrochemical plants, power plants (both nuclear and conventional), pharmaceutical plants and ethanol plants currently use manual procedures represented in PDF, similar to the current NASA state-of-practice. The benefit that NASA will receive from moving to electronic, automated procedures can be duplicated in many of these industries. Plants that already have some level of automation such that telemetry and commanding is available electronically are the most likely to adopt this technology. Just as at NASA, safety, workflow and cost concerns must be addressed before this technology will be adopted.

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 Generated on 08-03-09 13:26