NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A1.09-9907
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robust Flare Planning and Guidance for Unimpaired and Impaired Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Robust Flare Planning Logic for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive
Manassas, VA 20110 - 2702
(703) 369-3633

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Antonio Abad
aabad@aurora.aero
1 Broadway, 12th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1189
(617) 500-7048

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 1

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aurora Flight Sciences proposes to develop a flare planning logic that would provide aircraft guidance during this critical phase of flight. The algorithms that Aurora seeks to leverage address the reachability problem in the fields of Optimal Control and Hybrid Systems. Two competing technical approaches will beconsidered; Aurora collectively refers to them as "Safety Verification-based algorithms."To this end, Aurora proposes the innovation of applying a suitable version of these algorithms to the design of a flare maneuver guidance and planning logic. The planner will be capable of dynamically producing a flare maneuver guaranteed not to violate the aircraft flight envelope and other stipulated constraints. The planner will meet the robustness requirements stipulated in the topic solicitation; namely, it will apply to both impeded and unimpeded aircraft, and it will operate under significant weather disturbances. The main technical challenge in developing the planning logic is extending and applying the chosen control algorithms to 6-DOF aircraft dynamics models under the required variety of operating conditions. The ultimate goal of the Phase 1 effort is to explore the feasibility of applying Safety Verification-based optimal control algorithms to an appropriately sophisticated model of the aircraft dynamics during the flare maneuver.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora envisions two related NASA Commercial Applications resulting from the proposed innovation, both of which align with NASA's Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) project. First, the planning logic is envisioned as a separate, specialized module tailored specifically to the flare phase of flight, thus fulfilling the multi-disciplinary IRAC project goal for one flight phase. In a broader context, the success demonstration of applying Safety Verification-based algorithms to this difficult flight regime would spur similar efforts and thus, applications to many other flight regimes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora envisions two possible non-NASA Commercial Applications resulting from the proposed innovation. The first, and immediate application of the planner is to UAV Automatic Take-off and Landing (ATOL) systems on Aurora'sfleets of UAVs. A second, and broader application is based on the opportunity of becoming experts in developing Safety Verification-based algorithms and their application to both manned and unmanned systems. An example application in the manned systems domain is the extension of the planner to autolander systems.For unmanned systems, Auroraviews this effort as a technical opportunity that will eventually assist in improving UAV safety and reliability.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Attitude Determination and Control
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Pilot Support Systems
Simulation Modeling Environment


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56