NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Human Autonomy Interaction
PROPOSAL TITLE:Concept of Operations Storyboarding Tool

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
S&K Technologies, Inc.
56 Old Highway 93 North, Box 339
St. Ignatius, MT 59865-0339
(406) 745-5720

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Carroll   Thronesbery
201 Flint Ridge Plaza, Ste 102
Webster, TX  59865-0339
(281) 480-1453

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The purpose of this project is to develop a storyboard tool to assist with the generation, verification, and refinement of storyboard information and its subsequent translation into model data for systems analysis and design tools. The most important contribution is an improved communication of the concept of operation between prospective customers and system developers. It addresses the difficulty of communicating highly technical information among specialized engineering groups so that the concept of operations illustrated by the storyboard accommodates the consideration of context of use, user task performance, and effective application of new technologies. This difficulty is especially pronounced when the user's tasks are unusual (space operations) and the technology to support the task is novel (autonomous software with which humans interact and monitor). Communication is enhanced by focusing on the common language of storyboard sketches and related categories of information describing them. The storyboard tool will help authors manage versions of storyboards to track alternate approaches for human task support and to maintain libraries of storyboards from previous systems. After assisting with the creation of storyboards and refining them in concurrent engineering sessions, the tool will assist in translating the storyboard information into data forms importable by analysis tools used by NASA systems engineers.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Since most new NASA systems can benefit from storyboards and prototypes, the storyboard tool can provide valuable assistance to a large number of NASA system acquisition projects. Particular attention will be paid to Exploration Systems projects because of the principal investigator's association with an ongoing NASA study of tools to support human factors engineering participation in the early systems analysis for Exploration Systems. Consequently, the storyboarding tool should be particularly applicable to Exploration Systems early analysis activities. However, it is also expected to generalize quite well to a wide span of NASA analyses to support system acquisition.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications that could benefit from using the storyboard tool include military system acquisitions and early systems analysis for commercial applications. S&K Technologies has a number of projects associated with military system acquisition, and the principal investigator has a background involving system acquisition for the Army, including some MANPRINT and human factors engineering experience. Consequently, S&K Technologies has experience marketing software and analysis services to military customers. For commercial customers, our marketing strategy includes:
? Bundling the toolkit with examples showing commercial applications
? Demonstrating at trade shows and conferences
? Internet advertising
? Trade magazine advertising

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
Operations Concepts and Requirements

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04