NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-2 H6.01-8878
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Autonomy and Space Mission Automation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Marshal: Maintaining Evolving Models

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
319 1st Avenue North, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 1689
(612) 339-7438

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel Bryce
319 1st Ave North, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 1689
(435) 213-5776

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Linda Holje
319 1st Ave North, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55401 - 1689
(612) 339-7438

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Spacecraft Autonomy and Space Mission Automation is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
SIFT proposes to design and develop the Marshal system, a mixed-initiative tool for maintaining task models over the course of evolving missions. SIFT will demonstrate Marshal by developing it as a plugin for the TRACLabs PRIDE procedure authoring system. A Marshal-enabled PRIDE will learn and maintain task models so that it can improve the consistency and correctness of PRL-based procedures. Marshal will monitor procedures as they are authored in PRIDE, learning organizational conventions and commonly applied constraints. Marshal will enhance the PRIDE interface with dialogue elements that highlight potential errors and unconventional elements in the current procedure. Marshal will allow model drift by adapting its model of procedures over time and it will accommodate incomplete and inconsistent feedback from procedure authors. Marshal's capabilities will stem from how it represents and reasons with a family of possible procedure model interpretations. As authors use different procedure constructs, Marshal will create interpretations of constraints that match the constructs. With author feedback, Marshal will update the interpretations to more closely match the corpus of procedures authored by the organization. With a family of model interpretations, Marshal can compute the expectation that user procedures are correct and consistent. Marshal also computes diagnoses explaining which assumptions about the user's intended model lead to inconsistency. From the diagnoses, Marshal populates a queue of potential plan flaws that the author can address at their convenience through natural and informative dialogues. As users interact with Marshal, it automatically maintains procedure models so that they can better serve procedure authors as missions evolve.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We will target Marshal as a key technology for handling evolving and changing task models for all NASA missions. Many NASA missions evolve and grow as they are occurring. For instance, the Mars Exploration Rover mission has expanded greatly beyond its original mission parameters. As a general-purpose model evolution tool, Marshal will be capable of handling complex domain constraints in such domains. Marshal has high applicability to analog missions where operations methodologies are evolved (i.e., Desert RATS and NEEMO). Further, any mission for geologic centric (i.e., planetary surface or asteroid) exploration and ISS crew planning will require occasional on-the-fly modification of procedures and tasks. Finally, as the possibility of long distance spaceflights draws ever closer, NASA will require technologies capable of duplicating or replacing current ground control tasks. We will work toward making Marshal a viable candidate for increasing the autonomy of astronauts during these flights.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We will develop Marshal technologies to be applicable across a variety of domains, beyond those at NASA. At SIFT, we have extensive knowledge in planning and scheduling for in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), satellites, and ground troop movements. These domains touch on a range of organizations, including the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the Office of Navel Research (ONR) and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

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)
Man-Machine Interaction

Form Generated on 04-14-15 17:14