Tucson, Arizona -- March 28, 2006 -- Ridgetop Group, Inc., of Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract for development of Electronic Prognostics for Vehicle Health Management. The initial $70,000 award will cover Phase I of the project, which spans the first six months and will be in support of NASA’s new Crew Exploration Vehicle to be deployed on other planets. Subject to a NASA contract extension, the company may receive a Phase II Contract for an additional two years of development which provides an additional $600,000 in funding.
A prognostic is the prediction of a future-failure event based on observation of selected precursors or test structures. This is useful information for a comprehensive Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) System, where the system can be programmed to monitor key areas of performance, and, if a fault is detected, take mitigating action as required to provide continued mission success. By observation of specific points, advance notice of an impending failure can be predicted on NASA’s systems, which can be deployed long distances away from earth.
With remote systems deployed on other planets, autonomous operation enabled with electronic prognostics is very important. Advanced warnings and mitigation of failures is facilitated using electronic prognostics that detect an impending failure before it occurs. For example, there is a 40-minute bidirectional communication delay in Mars- to-Earth communications.
According to Doug Goodman, Ridgetop’s CEO: “This contract was awarded by the NASA/Ames Research Center at Moffet Field, California, and represents a solid endorsement to Ridgetop’s capabilities. For critical applications, electronic prognostics can provide much-needed capabilities in managing the overall “health” of the system.”
Ridgetop Group, Inc. is the world-leader in electronic prognostics and reliability Built-in Self Test (BIST). Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, the firm was founded in 2000, and has built an impressive customer list of both government (NAVAIR, NASA/Goddard, NASA/Ames, NAVSEA, Air Force.) and commercial customers, including Honeywell, and several large domestic and international semiconductor firms.