14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

'Houston, We Have a Solution': Using NASA Apollo Program to Advance Speech and Language Processing Technology

Abhijeet Sangwan (1), Lakshmish Kaushik (1), Chengzhu Yu (1), John H. L. Hansen (1), Douglas W. Oard (2)

(1) University of Texas at Dallas, USA
(2) University of Maryland at College Park, USA

NASA's Apollo program stands as one of mankind's greatest achievements in the 20th century. During a span of 4 years (from 1968 to 1972), a total of 9 lunar missions were launched and 12 astronauts walked on the surface of the moon. It was one the most complex operations executed from scientific, technological and operational perspectives. In this paper, we describe our recent efforts in gathering and organizing the Apollo program data. It is important to note that the audio content captured during the 7.10 day missions represent the coordinated efforts of hundreds of individuals within NASA Mission Control, resulting in well over 100k hours of data for the entire program. It is our intention to make the material stemming from this effort available to the research community to further research advancements in speech and language processing. Particularly, we describe the speech and text aspects of the Apollo data while pointing out its applicability to several classical speech processing and natural language processing problems such as audio processing, speech and speaker recognition, information retrieval, document linking and a range of other processing tasks which enable knowledge search, retrieval, and understanding. We also highlight some of the outstanding opportunities and challenges associated with this dataset. Finally, we also present initial results for speech recognition, document linking, and audio processing systems.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sangwan, Abhijeet / Kaushik, Lakshmish / Yu, Chengzhu / Hansen, John H. L. / Oard, Douglas W. (2013): "'houston, we have a solution': using NASA apollo program to advance speech and language processing technology", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 1135-1139.