NASA STTR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 T2.01-9903
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Foundational Research for Aeronautics Experimental Capabilities
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Real-Time Flight Envelope Monitoring System

NAME: Rolling Hills Research Corporation NAME: The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
STREET: 420 N. Nash Street STREET: 1901 South First Street, Suite A
CITY: El Segundo CITY: Champaign
STATE/ZIP: CA  90245 - 2822 STATE/ZIP: IL  61820 - 7473
PHONE: (310) 640-8781 PHONE: (217) 333-2187

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael F Kerho
420 N. Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245 - 2822
(310) 640-8781 Extension :23

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed innovation is an aircraft flight envelope monitoring system that will provide real-time in-cockpit estimations of aircraft flight envelope boundaries. The adaptable system will provide information on current and predicted aircraft performance and controllability, alerting the pilot to any aerodynamic degradation of the aircraft control surfaces. This includes heavy rain, in-flight icing encounters, environmental contamination of surfaces, and structural damage such as bird strikes or battle damage. The real-time monitoring system measures the unsteady control surface hinge moment from all aircraft aerodynamic controls. Control surface hinge moments are sensitive to the aerodynamics of the section, including separation. These data are processed and information on the current and predicted future state of aircraft performance and control (including asymmetric cases) is made available to the pilot or flight management system. Phase I results have shown that the hinge moment sensor concept is a viable technology for the monitoring and prediction of airfoil stall. The hinge moment monitoring system was able to provide reliable stall warning and prediction across an incredibly wide range of simulated aerodynamic hazards. The proposed aircraft flight envelope monitoring system is an integral part of an overall integrated vehicle health management system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed control surface hinge moment based flight envelope monitoring system technology is synergistic with national and NASA priorities in aerospace R/R&D, as described in the National Research Council's "Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics", in 2006. Aircraft health management systems are listed as critical research initiatives within the Aviation Safety Program, specifically in the Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) project. IVHM calls for advancing the state-of-the-art in on-board health state assessment including continuous diagnosis and prognosis. The proposed hinge moment based flight envelope monitoring system directly addresses these NASA priorities by providing pilots with real-time estimates of the vehicle flight envelope, including restrictions due to aerodynamic degradation from heavy rain, icing, insect or bird impacts, or structural damage.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Flight envelope monitoring systems have a large potential for use on both existing and future aircraft, including general aviation, military, commercial/commuter, and UAVs. Commuter aircraft are particularly important targets because they typically operate at lower altitudes/airspeeds, putting them at greater risk of environmental or structurally based aerodynamic performance degradation, including ice, heavy rain, and bird strikes. The real-time estimation of aircraft boundaries and controllability provided by the system is of utmost importance to the pilot encountering edge of the envelope flight, or flight into adverse conditions. The technology is equally valuable for UAVs where it is difficult, or impossible for the remote operator to sense differences in performance due to environmental hazards or structural/battle damage. The flight envelope monitoring system can aid these types of aircraft either as a standalone warning system, or possibly licensed to the aircraft manufacturer and built into a more complex, integrated system.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Expert Systems
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Human-Computer Interfaces
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Pilot Support Systems

Form Generated on 05-25-10 13:36