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The Information Sharing and Integration Group (ISI) develops novel tools and techniques for intelligent information sharing, data integration and analysis, knowledge management, and group collaboration. The customers for these tools are distributed teams of NASA scientists and engineers, Constellation project personnel, as well as aviation industry specialists. Research within the group is conducted in the following areas:

  • Information management
  • Information integration architectures
  • Semantic technologies
  • Knowledge modeling
  • Search
  • Digital libraries & information repositories
  • Knowledge acquisition and management
  • Aviation data analysis and modeling
  • Data mining


Space Mission Design & Operations Related Projects

XSearch for JSC's Missions Operations Directorate
XSearch is a space mission operations support system that provides search and linkage across multiple databases used by International Space Station and Shuttle flight controllers. Using the XSearch interface, Mission Control personnel can formulate a single search query and simultaneously interrogate multiple mission operations data sources. In addition to conducting search, the system also contextualizes returned search results by detecting records that are cross-referenced by or textually similar to those results. Cross references are located by parsing the text of database records using customized citation patterns that identify cross-references embedded in the text. XSearch has been deployed in the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center since July 2008.
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Data Aggregator
Data Aggregator (DAggr) is a critical piece of the Constellation Information Systems Architecture. The DAggr team is building a middleware capability to link together information from across multiple Constellation data sources throughout the program lifecycle. DAggr will provide the capability to present up-to-date integrated views of program information for key program reviews and ongoing Constellation development work. The DAggr project is developing web services to access existing data sources, cross-source link management capabilities, query management functions, and information aggregation services for use in a range of client applications.

CoFR Dashboard
The Certification of Flight Readiness (CoFR) Dashboard is being developed to provide managerial personnel with improved quality and timeliness of data related to Constellation mission readiness status. It will rely on a combination of data aggregation, workflow, and business rules to provide a continuous picture of a mission as it progresses towards launch.

Enterprise Architecture Repositories
This project is creating enterprise architecture repositories that allow subject matter experts to deposit key enterprise information related to an organization’s processes and products in a central database. This information can then be used to build models or as input to discrete event simulations. The current repositories under development include VMTS and MODEAR.

Aeronautics/Airspace Systems Related Projects

Agent-based Simulation of Collaborative Traffic Flow Management
This project uses Brahms and FACET to simulate a future concept of operations for traffic flow management simulation. In this concept, interested parties in the traffic flow management process (e.g., airlines) share information and preferences, and influence decision making. In our simulation, agent actors replace their human counterparts, allowing us to evaluate the concept of operations faster, cheaper, and more thoroughly than would be possible with human in the loop simulations.
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Weather-Impacted Sector Capacity Estimation
One of the key tasks in airspace traffic flow management is managing the flow of aircraft to a sector so that it does not exceed the sector’s capacity, i.e., the number of aircraft that can be handled comfortably by the sector controller. The capacity of a given sector is not fixed but is dependent on several factors, among them any convective weather activity in the sector. The focus of this project is to develop algorithmic, statistical, and data mining techniques to estimate the capacity of a weather-impacted sector based on various weather characteristics.

Airspace Complexity Research
This project explores methods to develop models that characterize the impact of uncertainty in the prediction of complexity for congested airspace sectors. Such models would be used in next generation of traffic flow management tools to reduce delays in national airspace system. Statistical data analysis and machine learning methods are being used in developing these models.

Earth/Space Science Related Projects

Collaborative Decision Environment (CDE)
The Western States Fire Mission is demonstrating improved wildfire imaging and mapping capabilities of the sophisticated imaging sensor and real-time data communications equipment developed at Ames Research Center. The CDE is used as a decision support system for distributed mission planning, situational awareness, and data product visualization. It uses Google Earth as the visualization component, but also includes Quicktime video streaming from the aircraft and Jabber instant messaging for group collaboration. The imaging sensor is capable of peering through thick smoke and haze to record hot spots and the progression of wildfires over a lengthy period. Data is overlaid on Google Earth maps and downlinked in near real-time to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, and made available to fire incident commanders to assist them in allocating their firefighting resources.
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Hypothesis-based Organization of Scientific Literature
This project is exploring a new way to organize and access scientific literature. Rather than search and access literature solely according to conventional author, title, and subject-based indices, this project explores indexing based on the scientific hypotheses that are supported or refuted by the literature. Initial work focuses on literature in astrobiology and the origins of life. A web-based Hypothesis Browser has been constructed to support browsing, entering, storing, editing, and searching scientific hypotheses, along with associated arguments, evidence statements, and research literature citations, scientist profiles, and commentary. The system is a Web 2.0 style application, with the goal of extensive community involvement and active participation by scientific community members in contributing web site content and posting comments. This project is a joint venture between the Exobiology Branch and the Intelligent Systems Division.

Legacy Projects

Aviation Data Integration
This project explores methods and techniques for integrating heterogeneous aviation data to support safety, operations, maintenance, and training needs within NASA and the aviation industry. The Aviation Data Integration System (ADIS) integrates flight data with auxiliary sources of relevant contextual data, including weather data, airport operating condition reports, radar data, runway visual range data, and navigational charts. ADIS consists of a data repository and associated integration middleware that provides rapid and secure on-demand integration of these diverse data sources with airline-owned flight data.

Knowledge Discovery Tools for System-Wide Security
The Knowledge Discovery Tools for System-Wide Security (KDTSWS) Project is leveraging existing technologies to enable knowledge discovery from system-wide aviation security information with the goal of improving decision-making in cargo screening and air security.

The SemanticOrganizer project focuses on research and development activities associated with the SemanticOrganizer collaborative knowledge management system. SemanticOrganizer provides a semantically-structured information repository that supports the knowledge-sharing needs of distributed NASA project teams, including multidisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, and accident investigators. This project encompasses development of the base SemanticOrganizer system architecture and two primary applications built upon it: InvestigationOrganizer and ScienceOrganizer.


Group Lead
Richard M Keller

Group Members
Robert E. Carvalho
Jorge E. Bardina
Dan Berrios
Francis Y. Enomoto
Deepak S. Kulkarni
Ian B. Sturken
Yao X. Wang
Shawn R Wolfe

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