The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) performs research in the areas of Earth Science, Planetary Science, Heliophysics, and Astrophysics. All of these areas involve the common need for conceptual and preliminary design of complex system models and the attendant engineering visualization this implies. The same need to more readily build and execute more sophisticated engineering models exists within other NASA directorates as well: Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Operations, and Space Technology. As NASA develops the next generation of scientific and space exploration missions there is a growing need for an integrated and collaborative visualization environment that can be used to rapidly evaluate competing vehicle and mission concepts. Current NASA projects that exemplify this need include the James Webb Telescope, robotic space probe missions, future manned space exploration capsules, potential heavy launch propulsion systems, new low noise, low emission, and fuel efficient airliner designs, and future air traffic control concepts. JPL's System F6 effort (for DARPA) and their TeamX environment are possible specific beneficiaries of this system. The F6 program already uses Phoenix Integration's current visualization system. Aeronautics programs at Langley have also used this system and would benefit from the proposed new visualizer.
Due to its generic nature, there are numerous non-NASA applications that will benefit from improved design-space visualization technology. These include a wide range of military and civilian design programs in domains such as aircraft, automotive, electronics, heavy machinery, shipbuilding, and alternative energy design projects. The Army, Navy, and Air Force are all current Phoenix customers and could make good use of better visualization technology. The company is well positioned to introduce this technology to organizations in various sectors such as BAE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt and Whitney, Raytheon, Dresser-Rand, GE, etc. since they already utilize the company's current products. Many, indeed, already use the legacy visualization system this SBIR will replace. Many are also adopting more integrated approaches to engineering and system modeling, for which the new visualization system will be designed. A common driver for all customers is the economic need to improve the design process for ever more complex systems. A major goal, therefore, is enabling greater intuition and exploration of complex trade spaces early in the design process.