NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X6.01-9429
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automation for Vehicle and Crew Operations
PROPOSAL TITLE: Incorporating High-Speed, Optimizing, Interleaving, Configurable/Composable Scheduling into NASA’s EUROPA Planning Architecture

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stottler Henke Associates, Inc.
951 Mariner's Island Blvd., Suite 360
San Mateo, CA 94404 - 1585
(650) 931-2700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard H. Stottler
951 Mariner's Island Blvd., Suite 360
San Mateo, CA 94404 - 1585
(650) 931-2700 Extension :2714

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advanced, robust, autonomous planning systems have not focused on the scheduling decisions made by the planner. And high quality, optimizing schedulers have rarely been integrated with such planning systems and only at a very coarse level. Little research regarding interleaving scheduling and planning has been done. Meanwhile, we have studied and implemented human scheduling decision processes over a 20 yr. period, developing the Aurora scheduling architecture in the process, which executes very rapidly and has solved scheduling problems in dozens of diverse critical domains. We propose to intimately integrate high speed, high quality scheduling algorithms from Aurora with NASA's existing EUROPA 2 architecture and expose high level descriptions of individual scheduling decision methods to end-users, enabling users to compose and configure these scheduling methods. A combined EUROPA-Aurora system would allow for more efficient plans and more optimal scheduling. It would allow EUROPA to better handle scheduling problems in its current domains and be better applied to domains with more significant scheduling issues. Better schedules will get more science done with the same time and resources.

In Phase I, we will determine the requirements of the integrated EUROPA-Aurora system for the types of domains that would most benefit from the integration and will determine additional heuristics, algorithms, methods and techniques needed for Aurora for those domains. We will develop the Integration Design, including determining, with NASA's input, whether it is most beneficial to integrate Aurora with EUROPA directly or to port algorithms from Aurora to EUROPA. We will prove feasibility of the integration by implementing an integration prototype and applying it to two different domains to show its efficacy, generality, and adaptability. Two options that we are already familiar with are planning/scheduling for ISS operations and autonomous spacecraft/robots.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many similarities between NASA's autonomous and real-time planning and scheduling applications and similar applications in the DoD, which is a main Stottler Henke customer. In particular the DoD and defense contractors (Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, and Northrop Grumman are all current Stottler Henke customers) are dealing with the explosive growth of unmanned vehicles and need to increase their autonomy. Stottler Henke is already involved in those efforts such that EUROPA-Aurora can be marketed to our current contacts in the defense industry. Additionally, we are already marketing Aurora, our general intelligent scheduling framework, and customizing it for a variety of domains. EUROPA-Aurora can be marketed to this existing Aurora product customer base, which has already generated over $3 million in revenue for Stottler Henke. And the EUROPA-AURORA combination will have several unique competitive advantages it will be the only product that includes both high-quality, adaptable planning and high-quality, optimizing scheduling. Furthermore, its capability of interleaving planning and scheduling will be unique.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Applications with a significant planning component with a need or desire to achieve high resource utilization including autonomous spacecraft and planetary vehicles (to maximize returned science), real-time planning/scheduling relating to manned spacecraft operations (either ISS or next generation manned vehicles), and high speed replanning/rescheduling to respond to outages or problems with NASA's communication networks (Deep Space, Near Earth, and Space).

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.)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Sequencing & Scheduling

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12