NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- H2.02-9556 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 022443 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Human Centered Computing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Intelligent Procedure Tracking and Assistance

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Metrica, Inc.
8620 N. New Braunfels, Suite 603
San Antonio , TX   78217 - 6363
(281 ) 461 - 7884

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David M. Kortenkamp, Ph.D.
1012 Hercules
Houston , TX   77058 - 2722
(210 ) 822 - 2310

This is a proposal to build an innovative procedure tracking and
assistance system for application to space station. Space station
crew members are currently hindered by a lack of integration between
procedures and telemetry. We propose a software system that will
probabilistically track the execution of a procedure using telemetry.
In addition to tracking, the software will also assist in executing
the procedure by prompting for missing steps or handling routine
verification. At the core of the software system is a probabilistic
reasoning technique that can track multiple possible outcomes
simultaneously. We also propose a crew proxy that will mediate the
flow of information between the procedure tracking and assistance
software and the crew member. A crew interface will be developed for
a hand-held computer. This will free crew members from their control
stations and allow for procedure assistance at any place in the space
station. In developing this system, Metrica will be working with
consultant Reid Simmons of Carnegie Mellon University. Metrica's
previous experience in procedure tracking and assistance and crew
interface design combined with Dr. Simmons' experience with the Task
Description Language and probabilistic reasoning techniques creates an
ideal team to complete this project successfully.

Increasingly complex electronic devices and software require equally
complex procedures to operate them effectively. Procedure tracking
and assistance systems that can be deployed in a light-weight fashion
and that can intelligently assist users in their nominal and
off-nominal operations would be of enormous commercial significance.
Embedded in a hand-held device (and downloadable from a WWW site)
could be procedures for everything from fixing a car to setting up a
home theater. We will initially work with procedure oriented
industries where there is telemetry feedback such as health care and
machine diagnosis and maintenance.

NASA currently has no automated way to track or assist crew members as they execute procedures on space station or space shuttle. Ground controllers and other crew members are used. This is costly and not safe because of delays. Also, crew members are currently limited to viewing procedures in PDF format at a workstation, even if where they execute procedures is remote from the workstation. Tis project will give NASA the capability to track and assist in crew procedure executing, enhancing safety and reducing cost.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10