NASA STTR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 T11.02-9978
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Computational Simulation and Engineering
PROPOSAL TITLE: Framework for Autonomous Optimization

NAME: Phoenix Integration NAME: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
STREET: 1715 Pratt Drive, Suite 2000 STREET: 77 Massachusetts Avenue, E19-750
CITY: Blacksburg CITY: Cambridge
STATE/ZIP: VA  24060 - 6472 STATE/ZIP: MA  02139 - 4307
PHONE: (540) 961-7215 PHONE: (617) 324-7210

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andy Ko
1715 Pratt Drive, Suite 2000
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 6472
(540) 961-7215 Extension :302

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Peter Menegay
1715 Pratt Drive, Suite 2000
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 6472
(540) 557-7556

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Computational Simulation and Engineering 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)
Phoenix Integration and MIT propose to create a novel autonomous optimization tool and application programming interface (API). The API will demonstrate the ability to link to many optimization algorithms, both open source and proprietary, as well as to framework tools that carry optimization algorithms within them. It will also allow users to connect their engineering models to it conveniently. The API will be available both as a cross-platform standalone product and as part of ModelCenter, an engineering integration and trade study environment. In addition to and included within the API will be techniques to perform optimization autonomously by providing a management layer which globally adjusts the run in an intelligent fashion. Thus, it will categorize problems to understand effective solution techniques for them, try many algorithms during a run, change the settings on single algorithms so they run more productively, adaptively learn which techniques worked and which didn't, and inquire of the user insight that may help the optimizer reach its destination sooner. A database of prior runs will be built to help facilitate these features. The management layer will also help the user understand errors that take place, log appropriately, and prevent failures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A major benefit of the proposed software toolset is that it can be applied at the conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design stages for complex projects across the entire spectrum of NASA Science, Human Exploration and Operation, and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorates. The proposed technology will provide a step change in the usability and flexibility of optimization software. It is likely that these improvements will be most significant early in the design process where impacts on lifecycle costs are the greatest. Initial applications will be in the Science mission area dealing with advanced satellites, telescope systems, or robotic exploration. Additional applications will be pursued within the NASA directorates as case studies and models are developed. NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics program has been a strong user of Phoenix technology and would benefit from the development work advocated here. JPL is heavily investing in MBSE technology (e.g. through DARPA's F6 program) and is a strong candidate for the optimization deliverables described here. In general, satellite programs, space transportation, and air vehicle technologies can benefit from this generic technology. Government agencies that partner with NASA on joint programs such as DOE, NSF, and FAA would be natural extensions for commercialization. In addition, prime NASA contractors in support of the ISS such as Boeing, Space X, Orbital Sciences, and Sierra Nevada are strong possibilities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Beyond NASA, Phoenix Integration's commercialization efforts will be focused primarily on the aerospace and defense sector where companies such as Lockheed Martin are already actively using the ModelCenter technology discussed in this proposal. Phoenix Integration is well positioned to introduce this technology to leading organizations in this business sector such as BAE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt and Whitney, and Raytheon since they already utilize the company's products. Phoenix Integration software tools are widely used by domain level engineers to analyze, design, and optimize the subsystems, components, and processes that make up complex aerospace systems. By leveraging this existing installed base, it will be possible to quickly achieve initial sales and establish a core user base for the new technology. After establishing penetration in aerospace and defense, Phoenix Integration will build upon these successes to pursue secondary markets such as automotive, heavy equipment, green energy, shipbuilding, transportation, and process industries. Some of these industries have begun using Phoenix products and optimization tools in general. The growing market and interest in this technology has been robust and bodes well for future development.

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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Analytical Methods
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Computer System Architectures
Knowledge Management

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37