NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X1.01-8867
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automation for Vehicle and Habitat Operations
PROPOSAL TITLE: Procedure Execution and Projection System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 - 1639
(734) 668-2567

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Marcus J Huber
727 Airport Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 - 1639
(734) 668-2567

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
There is a persistent pressure upon NASA crew members to achieve very high productivity during their missions. Significant challenges exist to maintaining manageable workload while the crew is performing their many and varied tasks allotted for each day while ensuring the crew maintain situation awareness. NASA crew members deal with a large amount of very high technology equipment and perform experiments and procedures that can be extremely long and complex.
The solution will require the development of automated management technologies that will operate synergistically with the crew, automating tasks of varying complexity in a dynamic, flexible manner with representations of automation state that the crew is familiar and comfortable with. In this proposal, Cybernet proposes to leverage crew members' capabilities with the design of a distributed Procedure Execution and Projection (PEP) system that focuses on supporting automation of complex procedures while ensuring crew situational awareness and anticipating future problems.
Our team will leverage the recent work on the Procedure Representation Language (PRL) and the flexible, distributed and hierarchical capabilities of holonic systems. PRL is an XML encoding of the vehicle/habitat procedures in a form that both crew and automation can use, and the PEP systems' intelligent holonic modules will support crew with a range of capabilities, including automation of procedures, projection of procedures to look for problems and determine courses of action to prevent or mitigate the problems, and make sure that the crew maintain situational awareness of the procedural state.
The objectives of the Phase I project are to establish critical requirements for NASA vehicle and habitat crew automation and to design and implement a prototype of the PEP system to demonstrate approach viability.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology could be applied to all current and future NASA missions wherein procedures can be at least partially automated. This applies to current space shuttle, international space station, upcoming Constellation project systems, and manned Mars expeditions. The leverage of PRL for the project provides significant benefits, but even without such its use, the PEP system is suitable for executing, monitoring, and projecting at least portions of any vehicle or habitat procedure.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Because the design approach for the PEP system is modular and adaptive, there is a broad range of commercialization opportunities:
• Military squads who need to use remote robotic systems for tactical surveillance and engagement, such as the US Army Maneuver Center and the US Army Infantry. These groups are currently developing Operational Requirements Documents that specify the need for remotely controlled robotic systems. The US Marine Corps is also developing an ORD for a larger, remotely controlled system (Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle).
• Search and rescue teams, who need flexible, robust, controllers that will be deployed to natural disasters. The National Guard has planned the deployment of multiple remotely controlled robots for search and rescue. The robots will be stationed with various National Guard units, ready to be sent to any area that needs robotic support.
• The Department of Energy (DoE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), need robust robotic control for cleanup of hazardous waste sites and chemical contamination. Large amounts of highly toxic wastes were stored on sites maintained by the DOE and pose significant hazards to personnel who need to characterize the level of contamination. The EPA has also been actively working to characterize other contaminated sites. Both the EPA and DOE have used robots fitted with monitors and sensors in order to reliably and accurately characterize the site and a high level of control is needed.

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
Computer System Architectures
Expert Systems

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56