Archive for the ‘NASA Capstone Project’ Category

02.05.2010 SPIFe Demo

February 6, 2010

Research Plan Presentation + Field Guides + SPIFe Demo

While Jenn and Noah worked on the research plan presentation, Jesse, Katy and I divvied up the field guides. Jesse wrote one for hospitals and Katy wrote one each for restaurants and news broadcasting. I was tasked with writing one for our JSC visits. I poured over the ISS document in detail in order to find out more about RPEs. It took forever but it made writing the field guide a breeze.

I missed the faculty meeting on Friday due to a conflict, but I was told the research plan plus field guides was generally well received. We just have to fix a few things with the Field Guide: the layout, and add an opening script and consent form.

Friday afternoon, Mel gave us a very useful tutorial on SPIFe. The current version is actually called SCORE. Forgot to ask her if that’s an acronym for anything. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is, since NASA seems to love acronyms :).

I found the tutorial very helpful, especially:

  • RPE are just the implementors of real-time replanning. (The ISS document I read was a bit unclear about this.) They don’t make the decision, since more experience is required.
  • It was very helpful to see concrete examples of activities and constraints. Prior to that we were just relying our imagination and knowledge from TV shows and movies. By the way, I’m glad we watched “From the Earth to the Moon”; I’m surprised how much I remember from the miniseries.
  • SCORE looked more polished than I imagined it. I guess that makes sense for something that’s supposed to transition to production in about a year :). It reminded me a lot of the ESX interfaces at VMware, except those were for both planning and monitoring so they showed a lot more status information.
  • It takes a lot of pixels to be able to use SCORE productively. ESX was the same way.
  • Some things can be automated, but most of the time, people like to feel smarter than the computer, and that the computer is there to help them, not destroy their plans.

On Monday, we’re supposed to get together and share our research results thus far in order to prep ourselves for the client meeting on Tuesday. We also have a CI scheduled for Thursday at a local news broadcaster.

02.02.2010 Ready? Set. Go!

February 3, 2010

Client Meeting + Team Meeting

This project is really starting to pick up pace! We had a good chat with the Mel and Jessica this evening. They gave us good feedback on the affinity diagram, pointing out the extensive impact of constraints and the potential muted-ness for authority tension. We really want to get the NASA visits settled as we only have about four more weeks to do our research.

It’s a pity (or a blessing in disguise) that we can’t perform our research entirely on NASA personnel, since access to astronauts is pretty scarce. Instead, we have to look at many different analogous work domains. In order to make things more efficient, we tasked each person to become the “expert” in that domain:

  • Jenn: Space Missions and Newspaper
  • Noah: Airline and Submarines (Navy)
  • Christine: Space Missions and Power plants
  • Jesse: Hospitals and News Broadcasting
  • Katy: Kitchens and Disaster Response

Btw, must thank Sara for pointing us to so many good resources…I am really inefficient when it comes to literary reviews. Never really know what to look for. This is why I would have never made it as a lawyer :).

We also decided to split up and try to work in smaller teams from now on. Even with just five people, it’s difficult to come to a conclusion sometimes (I’m still amazed how my team of 7 worked out last semester – oh yeah, we broke up into 4 and 3.) We kind of have the research plan document in the bag. Noah and Jenn are going to work on the presentation due tomorrow in class, and Jesse, Katy and I will hash out the Field Guides.

Ready? Set. Go!