Public Release: 

NASA grant to Florida Tech supports Space Shuttle safety

Florida Institute of Technology

MELBOURNE, FLA.--Dr. Philip Chan, Florida Tech associate professor of computer sciences, in collaboration with Interface & Control Systems of Melbourne, Fla., received $500,000 in NASA funding recently. Florida Tech's portion is $175,000.

The grant supports an investigation into artificial intelligence to detect any unusual functioning of a space shuttle component, such as a fuel valve. Machine learning techniques are especially useful to generate detection knowledge from historical data.

After demonstrating feasibility in an earlier one-year pilot study, the researchers will undertake a new, two-year study to investigate and refine algorithms that "learn" from data collected during a shuttle component's normal operations. During the monitoring process, behavior that significantly deviates from the learned model could indicate potential problems.

"Our algorithms can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort to extract, update and encode knowledge from experts into monitoring systems," said Chan.

Florida Tech offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in computer science; bachelor's and master's degrees in information systems; and a bachelor's degree in software development.

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