NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S6.03-9468
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Algorithms for Science Data Processing and Analysis
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Rapid Model Fitting Tool Suite

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80303 - 1379
(303) 448-0727

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cory Ahrens
ahrensc@txcorp.com
5621 Arapahoe Ave
Boulder, CO 80303 - 1379
(303) 996-2027

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Instruments flown on board NASA missions often do not measure quantities
of interest to scientists directly, but rather observable quantities. In addition,
instruments often introduce artifacts into the data and techniques are needed to
remove them. In both cases, scientifically relevant information can be
inferred by simulating a parameterized model and adjusting the parameters to
best match observed data. This minimization process of "fitting" a model to
data is computationally demanding, since it requires evaluating the often complex
models many times and minimizing a function of many variables. Fast, more efficient
fitting techniques are therefore required in order to fully harvest the scientific
output from NASA missions.

In this project, we will develop a fast, general-purpose parameter fitting software
tool suite taking advantage of inexpensive, high-performance graphics processing
units (GPUs). The goal of Phase I of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility
of model fitting on GPUs. We will therefore prototype forward models, relevant
mathematical operators and the actual parameter adjustment algorithm on GPUs
and compare their performance to a pure CPU implementation. We will particularly
focus on ease of use for the scientist to migrate their applications to this infrastructure.
During Phase I, the TRL will increase from 3 to 4.

In the Phase II, we will then harden the prototypes developed in Phase I and provide alternative modeling algorithms to support a broader range of applications. In addition, we will work with scientists from various NASA missions, including the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III mission and the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to accelerate their modeling needs. In addition to NASA missions, other federal or commercial applications
requiring to adjust model parameters to fit large sets of observed data will benefit from this project.


POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Because of the widespread use of optimization techniques in parameter estimation, the software developed in this project will be used extensively by NASA scientists working on present and future missions. Moreover, with the increasing amounts of data to be processed, hardware accelerated optimization software will provide a valuable, time-saving tool to NASA scientists. Missions that will directly benefit from the proposed software are Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III mission and the Solar Dynamics Observatory and Glory, to name a few.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Parameter fitting is found in almost all fields, from finance/banking and data mining to computational biology and numerical weather prediction, to name a few. One thing in common to all these fields is the rapidly growing volume of data and increasing complex models. To address the accompanying computational issues, low cost hardware accelerators, in particular graphical processing units (GPU), are increasingly being used with great success. This GPU accelerated tool suite will be developed into a commercial product that will be of general interest.



TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Data Processing
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)


Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12