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XSearch is a system that provides search and linkage across multiple databases used by International Space Station (ISS) and Shuttle flight controllers. XSearch integrates data from several separate flight operations databases. Through a common interface, Mission Control personnel using XSearch can issue a single search query and simultaneously interrogate multiple mission operations data sources. 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. This allows flight controllers to quickly identify supplementary records that might be important to gaining a more complete understanding of the search result.

Initially deployed in NASA’s Mission Control Center in July 2008, XSearch now allows flight controllers to search across 15 key mission operations data sources. These systems store historical data back to the early 1990s, and contain over 250,000 records in total. XSearch analyzes and mines the text of these records to identify cross-references to other records based on a set of commonly-used citation patterns. The system also applies information retrieval metrics to judge how similar the text in one record is to the text in all other records. Users are notified of very high-scoring similar records.

Project Team

Richard M. Keller (lead)
Christopher Knight
Steven Lin
Mohana Gurram
Shawn Wolfe
May Windrem
Greg Orzech
Lisa Faithorn
Cori Schauer
Ian Sturken
Keith Swanson
NASA Ames Research Center

Brian Kelly
Tim Hall
Brian Ulman
Jason Toschlog
Troy LeBlanc
NASA Johnson Space Center

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