NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 24.01-6601

PROJECT TITLE: A Suite of Visualization Tools for Distributed Autonomous Systems

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

This is a proposal to build a suite of visualization tools fordebugging and validating distributed autonomous systems. These tools will let the developer debug distributed, running autonomous systems as they interact with the real world. The cumbersome process of monitoring and displaying system data, modifying this data in real time and collecting the data for future analysis has often rested on application-specific code written by developers as they debug their autonomous systems. Traditional software debugging tools are not designed for distributed autonomous systems as these traditional tools often involve setting breakpoints or stopping a program while it is running, which is not possible with programs interacting autonomously with the real world. Our tools will allow for real-time data collection analysis and display, and will be tailored for distributed autonomous systems. These tools will greatly increase the efficiency of autonomous system designers and increase the reliability and safety of deployed autonomous systems. In developing these tools, Metrica Inc. will be working closely with consultant Reid Simmons of Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Simmons' experience with autonomous systems and interprocess communication and Metrica's experience in fielding space systems for NASA JSC create an ideal team to complete this project successfully.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The increasing prevalence of automated systems, both robotic and other computer-controlled, makes it vital to provide effective tools for the development, debugging, testing, and verification of these systems. The suite of visualization tools produced by this project will be an important part of the complete autonomous control architecture being developed by Metrica Inc. Also, our data visualization tools will be generic and widely applicable. Thus, these tools will be a powerful addition to any autonomous system developer's toolkit.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

David Kortenkamp
Metrica Inc.
1012 Hercules
Houston , TX 77058

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Metrica Inc.
10010 San Pedro, Suite 400
San Antonio , TX 78216-3856