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XSearch Development Concludes With Release of Mission Operations Meeting Minutes Search

XSearch v2.7 was successfully released to flight controllers in Mission Control on August 31, 2010. This version incorporates search of mission operations meeting minutes for the International Space Station (ISS) Joint Operations Panel (JOP) and the Space Shuttle Flight Techniques Panel (FTP). The delivery, which comes one month prior to its promised release date, completes the final XSearch enhancement planned for Johnson Space Center’s (JSC) Mission Operations Directorate (MOD). Responsibility for continued maintenance and sustaining engineering have been transferred to JSC software engineers on MOD’s supporting Facilities Development and Operations Contract (FDOC). Final wrap-up activities, including final delivery of software and documentation, concluded Ames involvement in the five-year effort. XSearch is used daily by flight controllers in JSC’s Mission Control Center (MCC) to search various flight control and mission operations databases, reports, websites, and other information resources.

BACKGROUND: Unlike most XSearch and flight operations data sources, JOP/FTP Meeting Minutes are actual Microsoft Word documents and are not stored in a database. Instead, Meeting Minutes documents are stored in a designated file system directory on a MOD server. XSearch monitors this directory for additions, deletions, and modifications to Meeting Minutes files. When new or modified files are detected, the files are converted to HTML and parsed for key metadata. The metadata and HTML content are transmitted back to the XSearch server for further processing and incorporation into the XSearch data warehouse.

Initial discussions on XSearch began in 2005 and the first version was released in June 2008, enabling search and cross-linkage of three key Mission Control data sources. Eight subsequent versions have been delivered to MOD, each folding new data sources into the integrated search. Through a common interface, Mission Control Center personnel, including ISS and Shuttle flight controllers, ISS program managers, and international partners, can now issue a single search query and simultaneously interrogate 15 mission operations data sources. In addition to conducting search, XSearch also conducts text and relationship mining to identify records that are cross-referenced by or textually similar to search results. Cross references are located by scanning the textual content of records using customized citation patterns that identify cross-references embedded in the text. Identification of cross-referenced and similar records helps flight controllers rapidly access information resources relevant to their tasks, improving situational awareness.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: JSC Intercenter Task Agreement funded by the Space Shuttle Program

XSEARCH TEAM: ARC TI: Rich Keller, Steve Lin, Chris Knight, Mohana Gurram, and Greg Orzech; JSC FDOC: Jeannie Pullen and Peyman Malekzadeh; JSC MOD: Brian Kelly.

Contact: Rich Keller

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