NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 A1.09-9235
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Pilot Interactions with Adaptive Control Systems under Off-Nominal Conditions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Systems Technology Inc. (STI) TP-1121, NASA A1.09 - 9235 Smart Adaptive Flight Effective Cue (SAFE-Cue)

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)
David H. Klyde
13766 Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 7083
(310) 679-2281 Extension :27

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As a means to enhance aviation safety, numerous adaptive control techniques have been developed to maintain aircraft stability and safety of flight in the presence of failures or damage. The techniques apply a wide array of adaptations from simple gain scheduling to on-line learning algorithms. While the ready availability of low cost, reduced scale UAV systems have allowed for many successful flight test demonstrations, applications to piloted aircraft have been more limited. Flight evaluations of various adaptive control applications conducted by NASA and others have shown great promise. In some cases; however, unfavorable pilot-vehicle interactions including pilot-induced oscillations have occurred. Susceptibility to such interactions is more likely when the pilot interacts with a highly nonlinear vehicle that may no longer have predictable response characteristics. To alleviate these unfavorable interactions, Systems Technology, Inc. (STI) proposes the Smart Adaptive Flight Effective Cue or SAFE-Cue that will provide cues to the pilot via an active control inceptor with corresponding command path gain adjustments. The SAFE-Cue will alert the pilot that the adaptive control system is active and provide guidance through a force feedback cue and command attenuation via a command path gain adjustment as a means to retain pilot-vehicle system stability and performance.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SAFE-Cue approach directly addresses a concern of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control topic under NASA's Aviation Safety Program to provide a means to prevent pilot-vehicle system loss of control in the presence of an active adaptive control system. A successful Phase 2 program will produce a prototype SAFE-Cue system that will alert the pilot regarding flight control system adaptations due to failures and/or damage and constrain the pilot via active inceptor force feedback and command path gain attenuation as a means to mitigate loss-of-control scenarios. SAFE-Cue will detect deviations in the adaptive aircraft when compared to the nominal aircraft, and when these deviations become too large, the active cueing via control inceptor force feedback and the active command path gain attenuation will be engaged. The interest in preventing loss-of-control is based on a very real problem that has caused loss of life and property throughout the history of flight.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SAFE-Cue will be targeted for use in modern commercial transports where it can add a significantly increased level of safety at a reasonable incremental cost. Recent FAA forecasts for the year 2011 indicate that the US commercial and regional airliner fleet will be more than 11,000 aircraft. A small market penetration of the US market alone would be enough to recover development and marketing costs. STI will leverage the ongoing interest of several airframe manufacturers in its Smart-Cue and Smart-Gain concepts as a means to introduce this new, more widely focused approach to preventing loss of control. The worldwide commercial airliner market will provide a significant follow on market. Target military programs where SAFE-Cue would have the potential to reduce accidents in the more extreme military operational environment include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and CH-53K heavy lift cargo helicopter, both of which feature active pilot control inceptors.

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.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Pilot Support Systems
Simulation Modeling Environment

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14