NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 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 North East 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 North East Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 6363
(281) 483-2738

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

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. However, the major stumbling block to realizing the widespread use of automation tools for operations is capturing and maintaining the domain models -- the object types and subtypes, relationships among them and operational constraints -- needed to support such techniques. Our success in Phase 1 showed that it is possible for subject matter experts (SMEs) to author ISS model information to produce a consistent model useful for planning, scheduling and procedure execution. In this Phase 2 proposal we aim to fully develop the authoring and data integration portions of our design and to integrate the resulting models with our interactive planning aid for flight controllers. The benefits for NASA operations are that the resulting modeling framework will 1) make available a consistent domain model that need not be reproduced for each automation project, unify the often disparate sources of EVA and Core Systems information, provide for rapid update of ISS configuration information, thus allowing automation applications to provide results based on the most recent data, provide a consistent view of the domain so as to minimize error in authoring procedural data.

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 an early application of our technology – the ORU Location (ORLOC) tool – will streamline future EVA/Robotics missions by providing a single source of data on the location and status of external ORUs. Our models will also unify disparate research programs through a common set of domain models and concepts. Our work will provide connection to automated planning and procedure technology development through the Automation for Mission Operations (AMO) project run out of NASA ARC and the joint ARC/JSC Mission Control Technologies (MCT) program.

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.)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Development Environments
Knowledge Management
Man-Machine Interaction
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Process Monitoring & Control
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36