NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X6.01-8593
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automation for Vehicle and Crew Operations
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ontological Models to Support Planning Operations

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TRACLabs, Inc.
100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 6363
(281) 461-7884

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Russell Bonasso
100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 6363
(281) 461-7804

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Automation and autonomy technologies, such as automated planning software, are key elements in realizing the vision for space exploration. A fundamental requirement for success with these technologies is that they operate using valid models or ontologies of the application domains. Making ontological information available to automated systems is difficult because 1) domain experts reason in domain terms, not the formal logic of ontologies; 2) the states and configurations of the specific objects in the domain are both voluminous and dynamic, making manual entry and maintenance prohibitive; and 3) the data required, especially state updates, need to be extracted or imported from other disparate systems. This proposal seeks to investigate, design and test a framework for consistent ontological modeling both within and across domains that can be exploited by automated planners currently being developed by NASA's exploration technology program. Specifically we will investigate a modeling framework that provides 1) an ontological representation of domain information in a standard format that can be used by NASA's developing planning software, 2) an interactive editing environment to allow domain experts to construct and maintain the ontological information; and 3) a general, systematic, and maintainable semantic mapping from external data sets into the user-constructed ontology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Procedures are at the core of all NASA missions, especially human space 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. Since domain models are essential to both generating plans and executing procedures, our technologies will have applications across many NASA programs, from Mission Control to on-board NASA vehicles and outposts. We expect applications of our technology to first of all impact ISS operations by helping to unify not only planning and scheduling programs, but also disparate research programs through a common set of domain models and concepts. Our work will provide connection to automated planning technologies development through the Automation for Operations (A4O) project run out of NASA ARC. We will work closely with Dr. Jeremy Frank at NASA ARC during Phase 1 to ensure our relevance to the A4O projects. More important, the domain ontologies along with their mappings to ISS data sets can be the way in which some of their dispersed knowledge is consolidated and managed.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The number of robotic entities becoming available for military operations is increasing dramatically and their capabilities are evolving at a rapid pace. As the military begins to use automated planning technologies for the efficient use of these increasingly complex resources they will be plagued with the same modeling problems as NASA. Our technology will again serve as a unifying framework to capture military domain models for use across a variety of automated technologies used for the generation of efficient plans that integrate human and robotic units. We also see a need for domain ontologies to support the use of procedures and planning in operations such as refineries, chemical plants, nuclear and other power plants and any installation that has established standard operating procedures that must be carefully followed under often stressful situations. As these industries move to electronic procedures tied to system telemetry and integrated with planning for more efficient and safer operations, they will require our ontological framework to maintain a consistent representation of their domains.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Command & Control
Computer System Architectures
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Development Environments
Inventory Management/Warehousing
Knowledge Management
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12