NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Vehicle Health Management Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Architecture for Integrated System Health Management

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Metrica, Inc.
8620 North New Braunfels, Suite 603
San Antonio ,TX 78217 - 6363
(210) 822 - 2310

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Debra   Schreckenghost
8620 North New Braunfels, Suite 603
San Antonio, TX  78217 -6363
(281) 461 - 7884

Managing the health of vehicle, crew, and habitat systems is a primary function of flight controllers today. We propose to develop an architecture for automating many of the response actions in problem situations and coordinating these actions with human response activities. Our approach is to develop a basic module that automates (1) Planning what response actions to take, (2) Executing these planned actions, and (3) Monitoring the effects of these actions to ensure they are successful. These modules will be organized into layers, operating at different levels of abstraction and with different time constants and time horizons. The architecture will support both hierarchical coordination between layers of control and peer-to-peer interaction among modules within a layer. This proposal is innovative in combining centralized planning for hierarchical coordination with distributed negotiation techniques for peer-to-peer coordination to provide flexible contingency response. The successful completion of a Phase II project will deliver a system health management architecture to NASA that improves system safety and makes more effective use of human time and capabilities when problems occur.

The need for increased crew autonomy for exploration missions will require automating aspects of systems health management so the crew can respond effectively with less reliance on Earth. Integrated System Health Management (ISHM) requires (1) detecting and diagnosing problems, (2) taking immediate action in response to problems to minimize impacts to safety and mission, (3) determining how to recover from a problem, and (4) implementing the recovery. Yet most ISHM technologies address problem detection and diagnosis, leaving impact assessment and problem recovery to humans. The health management architecture we propose to develop addresses this technology gap by automating routine response actions in problem situations and coordinating these actions with human response activities. Example applications include health management for vehicles in the Constellation Program, including Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

Commercial products for managing failures focus on alerting limit violations and diagnosing root cause of problems, leaving problem response to human operators. By automating aspects of problem response and supporting coordination of these actions with human response, the software developed under Phase II of the proposed project is targeted toward a commercial market with few competitors. Potential markets for this software include industries where timely problem detection and response is essential to the safety of personnel and the productivity of the plant. Example applications where these criteria are important include chemical process plants, the nuclear industry, and control of naval ships and submarines.

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
On-Board Computing and Data Management

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12