NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 S6.05-9646
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Software as a Service to Large Scale Modeling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Software Infrastructure to Enable Modeling & Simulation as a Service (M&SaaS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Parabon Computation, Inc.
11260 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 406
Reston, VA 20190 - 5203
(703) 689-9689

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven L. Armentrout
11260 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 406
Reston, VA 20190 - 5203
(703) 689-9689

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR Phase 2 project will produce a software service infrastructure that enables most modeling and simulation (M&S) activities – from code development and compilation to runtime execution and collaboration – to be performed from a standard web browser across cloud- and grid-enabled computing resources. By addressing the security, scalability and virtualization challenges that have heretofore prevented service-centric M&S from being practical, this first-of-its-kind Modeling and Simulation as a Service (M&SaaS) platform will allow M&S users and developers alike to avoid many of the obstacles that currently confound the delivery, accessibility and usability of traditional, non-service-oriented M&S software.

Building upon its commercial Grid Software as a Service (GSaaS) platform, Parabon convincingly demonstrated M&SaaS feasibility in Phase 1, as well as its ability to deliver the M&SaaS solution, completing in Phase 1 a Phase 2 solicitation goal of executing a NASA climate model across a computational grid and displaying the results, all from a browser. By the completion of Phase 2, M&SaaS will support, at TRL 6-7, browser-based source code editing, management of distributed repositories, research collaboration via forums and wikis, and virtualized build and runtime environments, all from within richly featured and access-controlled web accounts.

M&SaaS has the potential to revolutionize how M&S is practiced across many industries – including defense, finance and pharmaceuticals – however, its benefit to NASA could be remarkable. Because the NASA mission often involves science that does not readily admit to direct experimentation, M&S is often the only means by which to answer significant scientific and engineering questions. The productivity improvements and cost reductions enabled via this new service paradigm will help NASA and other organizations generate discoveries more readily and realize significantly higher return on M&S investments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Use of M&S at NASA is pervasive and the commercialization applications for M&SaaS are numerous. For example, Earth climatologists at NASA rely heavily on climate models to assess the potentially far-reaching consequences of greenhouse gas emissions; NASA space mission programs use simulation extensively to orchestrate mission plans, engineer flight systems and conduct contingency planning exercises; and NASA space science programs model cosmological phenomena to answer some of humankind's deepest questions. None of these types of investigations are possible without extensive use of M&S. Nearly every M&S application at NASA that is built around the traditional software delivery paradigm (release, install, patch and upgrade) is a candidate for migration to a service-centric delivery model under M&SaaS.

The M&SaaS solution applies equally well to many domains that do not strictly employ M&S. For example, modern scientific instruments, ranging from satellite imaging systems to particle accelerators to radio telescopes, can generate data at extraordinary rates and corresponding declines in data storage costs have invited researchers to generate tera- and now petabyte scale datasets. The researchers that work on such datasets share many characteristics in common with the M&S practitioners and the proposed M&SaaS solution will enable them to collaborate more effectively and perform computational analyses on their data with greater ease.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
M&S practitioners outside of NASA comprise a large and attractive market. Many large government contractors serving NASA perform M&S work for NASA and other federal agencies. Several of these contractors and Department of Defense representatives have already expressed procurement interest in the proposed M&SaaS solution. Additionally, the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) is a collaborative effort between multiple federal organizations to provide information and models relating to space science research. Member organizations in this partnership – which includes, among others, the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) – comprise an excellent collection of agencies that could benefit from M&SaaS.

M&S activities span other lucrative commercial industries such as pharmaceuticals and finance, to list a few, and Parabon has existing customers in these sectors that will benefit from M&SaaS. The higher productivity, improved ease-of-use and reduced costs afforded by the proposed solution will be attractive to M&S practitioners in these and other industries where M&S is used. Moreover, the solution is generally applicable to domains not directly involved in M&S, for example, bioinformatics, photo-realistic rendering and intelligence data processing.

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.

Computer System Architectures
Software Development Environments
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26