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XSearch Incorporates New Interface and Search of ISS Flight Rules

On August 11, 2009 XSearch v2.0 was released to Mission Control Center (MCC) flight controllers. This release represents a major revision of XSearch, coupling the search of a major new data source – International Space Station (ISS) Flight Rules – with powerful enhancements to the user interface and backend processing. These changes were implemented to improve the functionality, performance, and maintainability of XSearch for MCC customers. With the addition of each new data source, XSearch becomes an increasingly valuable tool for searching and interconnecting information sought by MCC personnel who control the ISS.

The changes implemented in XSearch v2.0 include a major overhaul of the user interface, merging two separate windows (one displaying search results and the other displaying cross-references) into a single split-pane window. In addition, the interface adds a quick-look preview of search result records. Search enhancements now expand the user’s original query to search for plurals and tense variants of query terms. A significant new navigation capability has also been introduced. The interface allows users to traverse a trail of links to view a connected chain of cross-referenced documents in the preview pane; the system displays a “breadcrumb trail” back to the original result. Finally, search and display speed have been improved. The backend changes for v2.0 were focused on standardizing record formats across all data sources and providing extensive configurability to facilitate rapid changes and addition of new data sources.

BACKGROUND: XSearch is a system that provides search and linkage across multiple databases used by ISS and Shuttle flight controllers. MCC personnel using XSearch can issue a single search query and simultaneously interrogate multiple mission operations data sources through a common interface. With the addition of ISS Flight Rules, a total of nine different types of records can be searched using the XSearch interface. In addition to conducting search, the system also contextualizes search results by detecting records that are cross-referenced by or textually similar to the search results. Cross-references are located by parsing the text of database records using customized citation patterns that identify cross-references embedded in the text.

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

TEAM: Rich Keller, Chris Knight, Steve Lin, Dan Berrios, Mohana Gurram, Greg Orzech (ARC); Brian Kelly, Tim Hall, James Hart, Jenny Yang (JSC).

Contact: Rich Keller


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