NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Crew Systems Technologies for Improved Aviation Safety
PROPOSAL TITLE:An IntegratedTurbulence Hazard Decision Aid for the Cockpit

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aerotech Research
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Suite 200
Newport News ,VA 23606 - 4507
(757) 723 - 1300

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul  A  Robinson
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Suite 200
Newport News, VA  23606 -4507
(757) 723 - 1300

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aircraft encounters with turbulence are the leading cause of injuries in the airline industry and result in significant human, operational, and maintenance costs to the airline community each year. A large contributor to the above injuries and costs is that flight crews do not have sufficient situational awareness of the location and severity of potential turbulence hazards to their aircraft. AeroTech will improve pilots' situational awareness of turbulence hazards by developing a cockpit Turbulence Hazard Decision Aid that provides them with integrated, graphical turbulence hazard information scaled to their specific aircraft. This display will remove the need for inference that is required to interpret current turbulence information. With better knowledge of turbulence hazards' severity and location, pilots will be able to avoid turbulence encounters or prepare for them by having all occupants seated with seatbelts on, thereby avoiding injuries. Phase II work will develop a prototype decision aid, based on the Phase I CONOPS and results, and then evaluate the prototype in both a PC simulation and a flight simulator. By the end of Phase II a meaningful, Integrated Turbulence Hazard Decision Aid will be developed and tested, paving the way for flight evaluations and commercialization in Phase III.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
When the goals of the proposed R/R&D are met, this cockpit, Integrated Turbulence Hazard Decision Aid will contribute to NASA's Aviation Safety and Security Program's (AvSSP) current national goals of a 25-50% reduction in weather-related accident causal factors and a 25 to 50% reduction in turbulence-related injuries. This work and the developed decision aid will be completely aligned with NASA's Turbulence Prediction and Warning System efforts, and NASA's Aviation Weather Information goal of enabling pilots to avoid atmospheric hazards by providing them timely, accurate, and intuitive weather information. It is also very consistent with the stated goals of the Integrated Flight deck Information Systems element of the Phase II AvSSP. Increased awareness of atmospheric turbulence provided by the decision aid may also add value to the NASA Airspace Systems program's goals of enabling "through technology development and transfer, major increases in the capacity and mobility of the air transportation system."

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
When the goals of the proposed R/R&D are met, this cockpit Turbulence Hazard Decision Aid will provide pilots with improved turbulence hazard information allowing them to operate more efficiently and safely. Significant reductions in costs associated with injuries due to turbulence and in fuel waste due to inefficient operations in and around turbulence are expected to be major commercial drivers for this system. The market for this decision aid is all Part 121 carriers (both domestic and international), cargo aircraft, corporate jets, and some high-end general aviation aircraft (an estimated 55,000+ Part 121 and corporate aircraft alone by 2023). Delta Air Lines was instrumental in the Phase I work and is supporting the Phase II work with evaluation pilots and flight simulators. Delta is "very interested in seeing the Integrated Turbulence Hazard Decision Aid developed to fruition" and could be a very strong advocate for the technology in Phase III.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52