Team Kairos: Mobile Assistant for Task Execution

Problem Space

As the Space Shuttle era ends and NASA shifts its focus to the exploration of near-earth objects and beyond, new operational conditions will require crew members to perform their duties with increased autonomy. A software system that facilitates the complex act of executing scheduled tasks with minimal support from ground staff will be critical to the long-term success of such missions.

Our goal was to understand how crewmembers and ground crew communicate in different mission contexts to accomplish scheduled tasks, and we developled a mobile solution that facilitates the completion of those tasks.

Background

As NASA shifts its focus to the exploration of near-earth objects and crew members operate with increased autonomy, software that facilitates the complex acts of completing scheduled tasks will become increasingly important. Team Kairos seeks to identify and develop the most important features of such a system, culminating in the generation of a working prototype. We hope our efforts will help to prevent errors and take into account the context of the crewmembers' autonomy.

OSTPV and IView

OSTPV

The primary schedule software aboard the International Space Station (ISS) currently is called the Onboard Short-Term Plan Viewer (OSTPV). It allows crewmembers to view their daily schedules as well as the activity of other crewmembers and ground crew. This software operates alongside a procedure and inventory viewer called Integrated Viewer (IView), such that crewmembers can jump directly from a scheduled task to specific instructions and inventory requirements for that task. Technically, procedures are currently stored as either Microsoft Word or XML files, and inventory stowage locations are stored in the Inventory Management System, with procedure-specific tool locations authored in the Automated Stowage Note tool.

NASA has prototyped mobile crew assistants in the past. A mobile version of Score-a planning tool developed at Ames Research Center—was used in NASA's underwater analog mission in 2011. Mobile Score lives as a JavaScript-based web application that works with the existing Score planning system and acts as a mobile-centric view for its content. Mobile Score does not examine or reimagine the presentation of procedures, which is the primary goal of our project.

Reports

Summer report (PDF)

Prototype development and user testing

Spring report (PDF)

Primary and secondary research