SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-092 (AirForce)
Title:  Innovative Technologies for Knowledge Capture and Transfer in Space Systems Product Development
Research & Technical Areas:  Information Systems

 The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  STATEMENT OF INTENT: Develop advanced multi-modal information technologies for knowledge capture and transfer that can feed a lessons-learned knowledge base for Space & Missile Center’s life cycle product development. This is an extremely important area to the Space Systems PEO.
  Objective:  Research and develop multi-modal knowledge capture and transfer technologies for creating, sharing, and managing knowledge during different phases of a project's development life cycle (184/200)
  Description:  A key element in executing a successful commercial and defense project is applying lessons learned knowledge and experiences to prevent the repetition of past failures and mishaps. Unfortunately in many organizations, there is not a prompt and effective approach to capture lessons learned experiences during each phases of the project, and provide the means to make the knowledge available to other teams and future projects. Application of advanced knowledge management research to leverage past experience can save an organization valuable time and money, and is critical in reducing risk, improving reliability, and assuring the ultimate success of projects. The goal of this topic is to conduct new and innovative research in advanced multi-modal information technologies for knowledge elicitation, capture, and transfer that can feed a lessons-learned knowledge base for life cycle product development. Previous research and investigations have only been partially successful in identifying knowledge management strategies but failed to provide realistic implementation methodologies. The researcher should consider how to easily capture knowledge and lessons learned at the start, during, and end of each project phase, and how to facilitate making the knowledge available to other teams and future projects. In particular the knowledge elicitation and captures should be human-centric base and capable of creating the knowledge content by multi-modal means, such as audio, video, and haptic (touch). For example, creating inputs via touch screen, voice, recognizing acoustic speech waveforms, aligning symbolic representations of speech with requisite physical representations, and synthesizing a speech waveform output response. Methodologies should address prompt, understandable, and secure access to information. The researcher should consider advanced semantic web technologies such as knowledge mark up language, knowledge maps, concept maps, knowledge visualization techniques, natural language processing, and ontological mediation of domain specific knowledge. User oriented features of the knowledge base and knowledge retrieval could include capabilities such as: user defined information categories; ability to capture, store, display new lessons learned; integration of new and existing lessons learned knowledge from multiple knowledge bases into coherent database; information/knowledge audit trails and traceability; and phrase and concept based search and retrieval. The methodology should be flexible and compatible with different phases of the program life cycle of both government and commercial projects. Proposed methodologies must be capable of executing on commercial-off-the-shelf desktops or workstations and be platform independent. Any graphical depiction and output should comply with industry or international standards.

  PHASE I: Phase I activity shall include: Design and development of new methodologies for multi-modal knowledge capture and transfer for creating, sharing, and managing knowledge during different phases of a project's development life, and a proof-of-feasibility demonstration of key enabling concepts. (291/300)
  
  PHASE II: The researcher shall develop and demonstrate a prototype that implements the Phase I methodology. The technology development shall have a goal of technology readiness level (TRL) 6 at the end of Phase II. The researcher shall also detail the Phase III plan. (258/400)

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: The desired product is a robust knowledge elicitation, capture, and transfer system for lessons learned from weapon system design, development, and manufacturing across the complete life cycle. (188/200) Commercial application: The software system is intended to be universal, flexible, and customizable based on users needs and can be applied to most domains including other government agencies and the commercial sector. (193/200)

  References:  1. Jay Liebowitz, “Knowledge Management: Learning from Knowledge Engineering”, January 2001, CRC Press 2. Jay Liebowitz, Isaac Megbolugbeb, “A set of frameworks to aid the project manager in conceptualizing and implementing knowledge management initiatives,” International Journal of Project Management, 2003, 189-198 3. A. H. Gold, A. Malhotra, A. H. Segars, “Knowledge Management: An Organizational Capabilities Perspective,” Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 18, No. 1, 185, Summer 2001 http://mesharpe.metapress.com/(s1a2pd45ivgiutnfadu4it55)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,8,9;journal,20,24;linkingpublicationresults,1:106046,1 4. M. T. Hansen, N. Nohria, T. Tierney, “What's Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge?”, Harvard Busines Review, 77(2):106, 187, Mar-Apr 1999,

Keywords:  Lessons Learned, Knowledge Management, Information Software, Shared Data, Information Repository

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
1. What was the motivation for releasing this topic?

The topic is in support of the Space & Missile Center (SMC/MC), Los Angeles AFB, CA. They desire to employ advanced multi-modal information technologies for knowledge capture and transfer that can feed a lessons-learned knowledge base for to support satellite and missile system life cycle product development. The topic is in direct support of the Air Force acquisition process and the need to share lessons learned in development of complex systems like missiles and satellites and to do it easily with minimal burden on the users.

2. Typically how many Phase I Awards are given per topic?

We envision 2 Phase I awards.

3. Of those Phase I awards, how many are selected for Phase II?

Based on results of the Phase I, some or all are invited to submit a Phase II proposal. Typically one Phase II is awarded.

4. Is this an extension of an existing program or research project?

This SBIR not extension of a previous effort.

5. Can more detail be given to explain the technology envisioned as the solution to this issue?

AFRL will not specify the solution. A SBIR is a science and technology effort conducting new research which has both military and commercial applications. We are looking for innovative ways to do knowledge capture and retrieval. Technology choices are up to the offeror.

6. How important is a Phase I prototype?

In the SBIR lexicon, a prototype is the result of Phase II. In Phase I, the offeror provides a proof of feasibility of the key enabling technologies. The Phase I deliverable is a report, not software. Demonstrating the proof of feasibility in Phase I is crucial for the Air Force to understand progress and to invite the offeror to submit a Phase II proposal.

7. You specifically mention multi-modal capability. What does that mean?

The intent of multi-modal is to reduce the burden on the user for knowledge capture. For example, the system could parse existing documents to extract knowledge and possibly an underlying expert system may ask the user via synthetic voice generation to clarify certain information. Avatars or intelligent agents could play the role of a knowledge engineer for knowledge elicitation. The user might further input information via voice that is processed by voice recognition software. Video or graphics may be use to depict data and information.
1. What was the motivation for releasing this topic?

The topic is in support of the Space & Missile Center (SMC/MC), Los Angeles AFB, CA. They desire to employ advanced multi-modal information technologies for knowledge capture and transfer that can feed a lessons-learned knowledge base for to support satellite and missile system life cycle product development. The topic is in direct support of the Air Force acquisition process and the need to share lessons learned in development of complex systems like missiles and satellites and to do it easily with minimal burden on the users.

2. Typically how many Phase I Awards are given per topic?

We envision 2 Phase I awards.

3. Of those Phase I awards, how many are selected for Phase II?

Based on results of the Phase I, some or all are invited to submit a Phase II proposal. Typically one Phase II is awarded.

4. Is this an extension of an existing program or research project?

This SBIR not extension of a previous effort.

5. Can more detail be given to explain the technology envisioned as the solution to this issue?

AFRL will not specify the solution. A SBIR is a science and technology effort conducting new research which has both military and commercial applications. We are looking for innovative ways to do knowledge capture and retrieval. Technology choices are up to the offeror.

6. How important is a Phase I prototype?

In the SBIR lexicon, a prototype is the result of Phase II. In Phase I, the offeror provides a proof of feasibility of the key enabling technologies. The Phase I deliverable is a report, not software. Demonstrating the proof of feasibility in Phase I is crucial for the Air Force to understand progress and to invite the offeror to submit a Phase II proposal.

7. You specifically mention multi-modal capability. What does that mean?

The intent of multi-modal is to reduce the burden on the user for knowledge capture. For example, the system could parse existing documents to extract knowledge and possibly an underlying expert system may ask the user via synthetic voice generation to clarify certain information. Avatars or intelligent agents could play the role of a knowledge engineer for knowledge elicitation. The user might further input information via voice that is processed by voice recognition software. Video or graphics may be use to depict data and information.
Ref #1: ISBN: 0849310245 Available through interlibrbary loan or online document delivery services.
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