NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 X2.02-8873
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Autonomy
PROPOSAL TITLE: System-Level Autonomy Trust Enabler (SLATE)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adventium Enterprises, LLC
111 Third Avenue South, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 2551
(612) 280-9843

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark S. Boddy
111 Third Ave. S., Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 2551
(651) 442-4109

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR addresses the problem that current V&V technology provides component guarantees, but does not do well on system properties. Human acceptance of autonomy hinges on trusting system-level behavior. The goal is to develop technology to verify system properties for high-level autonomous control of complex systems operating in rich and unpredictable environments. The System-Level Autonomy Trust Enabler (SLATE) applies constraint-based models and reasoning to support incremental modifications necessary for system-level V&V of fixed and reconfigurable systems, given component-level guarantees. The significance of this innovation is to enable trusted high-level autonomous control systems across a wide range of critical applications, including manned and unmanned spacecraft, rovers, and habitats. If successful, this will simplify the process of control system design, maintenance, and reconfiguration in response to changes in the environment, the system being controlled, or the mission profile. Phase I addressed SLATE feasibility for requirements representation and reasoning. A TRL-4 proof-of-concept prototype on a multi-level robotic control system, implementing a surface robotics exploration mission, demonstrated that SLATE is feasible in practice. Phase II will develop an application-specific version and provide a user interface, improve performance and reasoning, and demonstrate operation on a NASA application.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The design and V&V benefits of SLATE extend beyond space-based systems to include other complex, high-value, life-critical control systems. Department of Defense UAS missions, for example, are expanding beyond remote sensing missions to include target illumination and weapons delivery, e.g., the vertical takeoff and landing tactical UAV (VTUAV) MQ-8B Fire Scout and MQ-9 Reaper, and the Hellfire-enhanced MQ-1B Armed Predator. Concerns range from satisfying strict rules of engagement (e.g., positive target identification), collateral damage and non-combatant casualties, and risk to friendly resources, especially when a UAS returns with weapons to base, a particularly high-risk scenario for ship-based UASs. Other potential customers include airframe integrators and supporting vendors, US critical infrastructure owners with significant unattended operating requirements such as remote pumping and transfer stations, and requirements design and analysis vendors.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
SLATE has the potential to be useful on any NASA mission requiring some form of complex automation, whether or not the mission is manned. Two NASA directorates are relevant to SLATE's contribution to Automation for Operations (A4O): Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and the Space Operations Mission Directorate. In each, SLATE has a role in system-level V&V, both for design time as well as operational reconfiguration in onboard execution of rovers, managing rover operations, and human procedure development. Specific applications include ATHLETE, K-10, Robonaut. For the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle programs, SLATE can be used support compositional verification and V&V of human procedures developed for operations and ground controllers.

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.

Architectures and Networks
Attitude Determination and Control
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Expert Systems
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
K-12 Outreach
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Power Management and Distribution
Software Development Environments
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39