NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A4.02-9033
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Flight Test Techniques and Measurement Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Fused Reality for Enhanced Flight Test Capabilities

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 South Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 7083
(310) 679-2281

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Edward Bachelder Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 S Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 7083
(310) 679-2281

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
While modern ground-based flight simulators continue to improve in fidelity and effectiveness, there remains no substitute for flight test evaluations. In addition to real world cueing (vestibular, visual, aural, environmental, etc.), flight test provides intangibles that can not yet be duplicated in a ground-based simulator. There is, however, a cost to be paid for the benefits of flight in terms of budget, mission complexity, and safety including the need for ground and control room personnel, additional aircraft, etc. New technologies and test techniques are therefore needed to maximize the investments and perhaps even reduce some of the related costs associated with flight test. Systems Technology, Inc. proposes to develop a Fused Reality (FR) system that will allow an animated virtual environment to be integrated with the test aircraft so that tasks such as aerial refueling, formation flying, or air-to-air tracking can be accomplished without additional aircraft resources. Furthermore, for the first time, the dynamic motions of the simulated objects (e.g., refueling drogue or tanker) can be directly correlated with the test aircraft. The FR system will allow real-time observation of and manual interaction with the cockpit environment that serves as a frame for the virtual out-the-window scene.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Following the successful completion of a Phase 2 in-flight evaluation program, a prototype FR-based flight test system will be ready to transition into a commercially viable product. The FR system will have potential applications for NASA, other government agencies, and commercial aviation. For NASA this product will directly address the stated need for highly innovative and more efficient flight test techniques. FR will reduce the need for specific aircraft that are costly and often difficult to schedule. Critical flight test evaluation tasks involving other aircraft and related dynamic elements can still be conducted in a safe and repeatable manner.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For other government agencies, specifically the DoD, a FR-based flight test system will find new uses in addition to those identified for NASA. These include; target tracking of simulated enemy aircraft and/or ground targets, interaction of test aircraft with unmanned aerial vehicles, mission training and rehearsal, degraded visibility for all aircraft or brownout training for rotorcraft, etc. For commercial aviation, a FR-based flight test system can be used for advanced training involving up-and-away collision avoidance, poor visibility approach and landings, runway incursions, etc. Finally, potential applications for all areas include in-flight synthetic vision. Here, the entire cockpit window area can be a virtual HUD where symbology/objects are superimposed on the actual out-of-the-window scene. In this application, an intended runway can be highlighted, important landmarks/hazards can be identified, the precise location of other aircraft can be displayed, etc.

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.

Human-Computer Interfaces
Pilot Support Systems
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56