Potential for Paperless Payload Processing
VIRGINIA, COMPANY IS commercializing a paperless procedures system
it developed under a Kennedy Space Center Small Business Innovative
Research (SBIR) contract for use in Space Shuttle and International
Space Station payload processing operations. SENTEL Corporation
will offer the Advanced Process Manager (APM), a state-of-the-art
system for executing maintenance and inspection procedures within
a robust product data management system framework.
The aerospace system life cycle data management is the primary
focus, with defense system life cycle data management, product data
management, supply chain management and fleet maintenance management
to follow. The APM combines NASA's Electronic Portable Information
Collection (EPIC) System with leading configuration and data management
toolsCMstat's V5 configuration management software and Symbol
Technologies' Spectrum 24 wireless network technology.
EPIC incorporates a handheld, pen-based computer platform with
the capability to install a variety of data collection forms, record
data against those forms, imprint controlled signature authority,
maintain the integrity of the data collected and relay the data
to a computer network for analysis or archiving. Data are entered
electronically, either with a keyboard or a pen, using handwriting
recognition. The system distributes these data to all other terminals.
The ink stamp is replaced with an electronic stamp that meets the
form, fit and function of the old ink stamp. A programmable memory
chip inside the electronic stamp stores a unique identifier. Once
the procedure is completed, it is converted to Portable Document
Format (PDF) and stored electronically in a documentation system.
NASA and SENTEL designed, built and tested the prototype, determined
it to be a viable option and formed a partnership through a Nonreimbursable
Space Act Agreement to develop the operational version of the system.
NASA developed EPIC's form conversion, stamp utilities and report
generator software, which are applications that are more specific
to requirements for use in the Space Shuttle Main Engine Shop and
for Space Station ground processing in 1998.
NASA and United Space Alliance (USA), the Space Shuttle launch
contractor at Kennedy Space Center, are planning a pilot program
for using EPIC at the Hypergol Maintenance Facility. Also, Kennedy
and Ames Research Center are conducting research to apply the EPIC
project in the area of wireless communication and in developing
smaller, lighter hardware to display the EPIC portable data terminals
in various Kennedy environments, NASA Lead Project Engineer Darcy
SENTEL is responsible for developing the Portable Data Terminal
software module. This piece of software holds the greatest potential
in other work environments, such as the aerospace and aviation (airline)
industries, the warehouse and shipping industries, the shipbuilding
industry, law enforcement agencies and public utilities. Other potential
applications include maintenance workflow management, inventory,
inspections, electronic document management and ISO 9000 certification.
For example, SENTEL is working with the electrical power industry
to study the development of an EPIC-based system for electrical
power substation maintenance and is scheduling installs in select
power plants. In addition, a major European airline is negotiating
with SENTEL for an EPIC-based airplane maintenance system.
For more information, contact the Technology Programs and Commercialization
Office at Kennedy Space Center.
Or contact Kevin L. Jackson at SENTEL.
Call: 703/739-0084, Fax: 703/739-6028, E-mail: email@example.com
Please mention you read about it in Innovation.
Shuttle payload processing operations combined with a promising
Portable Data Terminal software module are being commercialized
into a state-of-the-art paperless data management system with numerous