Welcome to the NASA HCI Team Website

The next several decades will be critical to the future of NASA, and human space exploration as a whole. Currently, plans are being laid to ground the Space Shuttle fleet and bring in a new phase of space research: Project Constellation. As part of this project, a movement underway at the NASA Ames HCI Group is aimed at helping to prevent the catastrophic, high-profile failures of NASA's past by centralizing problem management. In this way, engineers and technicians from anywhere within NASA's vast network of departments and contractors can report hardware, software, and process problems into a unified problem management system.

This Problem Reporting and Corrective Action system (PRACA) is currently in active development. However, as of early 2007 PRACA was without an interface and form designed specifically for use by the problem-reporting technicians, quality assurance, and engineers. The project to design a prototype for this interface became Problem Reporting on PRACA Handhelds by Engineers and Technicians (PROPHET).

For their Master's of Human-Computer Interaction Capstone project, the PROPHET 2007 project team was staffed by five Human-Computer Interaction Masters students from Carnegie Mellon University's HCI Institute worked alongside the HCI Group at NASA Ames Research Center to create a handheld interface to be used in conjunction with the existing Problem Reporting and Corrective Action system. This project was divided into two semesters, the first spent at Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus, and the second at Ames over the summer.

Our mission was to create a well-designed handheld interface for front-line NASA technicians that will facilitate problem reporting and management, improving the safety and effectiveness of the Constellation Program, while proving compatible with NASA culture. Our final product is a pair of functioning prototypes built to win the approval of the end users and their supervisors by successfully demonstrating specifically-defined tasks chosen for their frequency and importance.