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Project Title:  Semantic Language and Tools for Reporting Human Factors Incidents Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2010 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 06/28/2010  
End Date: 12/31/2012  
Task Last Updated: 11/25/2009 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Schreckenghost, Debra  M.E.E. / TRACLabs, Inc. 
Address:  16969 N Texas Ave 
Suite 300 
Webster , TX 77598-4085 
Phone: 281-461-7886  
Congressional District: 22 
Organization Type: INDUSTRY 
Organization Name: TRACLabs, Inc. 
Joint Agency:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX10CB03C 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Sullivan, Thomas  
Center Contact: 
Solicitation / Funding Source: SBIR Phase II 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX10CB03C 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Hab:Risk of an Incompatible Vehicle/Habitat Design
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SHFE-HAB-06 (SBIR):How can crews easily document human factors related issues that occur on orbit? (Per IRP Rev E, content of this gap is now contained in SHFE-HAB-09)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date change to 12/31/2012 (from 6/27/2012) per HRP Master Task List dated 12/28/12 (Ed., 3/14/2013)

NOTE: originally set up as Phase I in 11/2009; received information on Phase II award and changed record to that, as Phase I not to be recorded in Task Book (Ed., per J. Marsack/M. Arya, JSC, 2/3/2011)

Task Description: Incidents related to impaired human performance in space operations can be caused by environmental conditions, situational challenges, and operational deficiencies. Detecting, reporting, and correlating related incidents are key to preventing future incidents. NASA has made significant progress in standardizing the reporting of space incidents by developing electronic data entry and storage of information. While such information technology improves report consistency, incident data are not represented in a way that enables advanced computer-based reasoning about incidents. TRACLabs proposes to develop a human factors incident-reporting tool for authoring and utilizing human factors incident data. This project is innovative in combining semantic web technologies with automated assistive technologies to aid users in finding relationships among incidents. The semantic indexing provided by the use of incident reporting language permits more sophisticated search of archives. During Phase I we defined a semantic language for incident reporting in XML and designed a technology approach for authoring and utilizing incident reports represented in this language. In Phase II we will implement this software and evaluate its effectiveness for the space human factors community at JSC. At the end of Phase II, software for reporting space human factors incidents will be delivered to NASA.


Incident reporting is an important part of handling issues that arise during space operations. NASA missions currently report flight incidents using approaches such as the Problem Reporting and Corrective Action (PRACA) process for Shuttle and Station, Shuttle In-Flight Anomaly (IFA) reports, and Station Items for Investigation (IFI). The semantic language and tools for incident reporting TRACLabs is developing are complementary but not duplicative with these approaches. They are intended to support user groups that have information needs not well addressed by programmatic incident reporting systems. For example, the space human factors organization needs to track incidents related to human factors and habitability issues not captured in current incident archives. We use semantic web technologies to embed domain semantics in incident data and utilize these semantics to improve database search and reporting. The software is customized by defining new domain semantics or adding XML tags for special domain needs.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Commercial tools for incident reporting are available in a diverse range of domains from crime incidents to corporate security incidents to customer complaints. Like the proposed software, most of these products support electronic submission and reporting of incident data, and archival of incident reports. The proposed approach differs from these commercial tools in providing a semantic basis for customization and improved search, and in representing incidents in an XML-based language. Such capabilities permit applying much of the incident reporting software developed for NASA in non-NASA applications. Promising applications include reporting incidents arising in chemical and nuclear plants, such as incidents arising from human error during plant operations, and reporting medical incidents, such as incidents that arise when monitoring the aged or impaired in performing the activities of daily living.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2010 
Task Progress: New project for FY2010. Reporting not required for this SBIR Phase 2 project.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/14/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2010