NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 A3.01-8419
SUBTOPIC TITLE: NextGen Airspace
PROPOSAL TITLE: Estimation and Prediction of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Trajectories

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Numerica Corporation
4850 Hahns Peak Drive, Suite 200
Loveland, CO 80538 - 6010
(970) 461-2000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nick Coult
4850 Hahns Peak Drive
Loveland, CO 80538 - 6010
(970) 461-2000 Extension :252

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
There is serious concern about the introduction of UAV's into the National Air Space because of their potential to increase the risk of loss of separation (LOS) between aircraft. Many UAV's lack a ``sense and avoid'' (SAA) capability, i.e., they do not possess an adequate means of making the UAV pilot aware of the airspace around the platform, nor do they provide the mechanism for avoiding LOS with other aircraft. This program will address the need for LOS avoidance for UAV's operating in NAS through the development of target state estimation and trajectory prediction algorithms.

Numerica proposes a research program that will focus on two critical aspects of SAA algorithms:
• Development of a target state estimator that uses data up to the current time to form a robust estimate of the state vector (position, velocity, acceleration, and possibly other parameters).

• Development of a target trajectory prediction algorithm. This component will take the target state estimate and probabilistically generate various possible target trajectory paths. The outcome of the research will be a complete proof-of-concept solution with a software prototype, and simulation results showing performance metrics.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As NASA and the FAA continue development of the NextGen Airspace program through 2025, the need to safely integrate UAV's into the NAS will only grow. As such, NASA's Airspace Systems Program will be a key customer of the proposed technology. The technology could provide a prototype system for the Airspace Systems Program which demonstrates both a technical solution, and also the associated policies, procedures, and requirements for UAV's operating in the National Air Space. Additionally, the proposed technology could be integrated into a NASA simulation environment such as the Future ATM Concept Evaluation Tool. Numerica would work closely with NASA program managers in the Airspace Systems Program and elsewhere as appropriate to develop a more complete NASA/FAA transition path for the technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Ultra Electronics' Advanced Fusion and Tracking System (AFTS) could serve as a commercial platform for the technology. Many current users of AFTS have an increasing need for managing airspace with a mix of manned and unmanned platforms. Since Numerica already provides the tracking component of AFTS, the proposed technology could provide a significant add-on capability.

The Army's Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS) already uses AFTS for airspace management. Conflict detection in TAIS is presently handled on a purely manual basis. Numerica's technology would be a plug-in for AFTS which would include both trajectory estimation and prediction modules as described in this proposal, as well as plug-ins for Ultra's TacView user interface that automatically alert operators to potential LOS or other airspace conflicts.

Furthermore, the US Navy uses a number of UAV platforms, and has two major programs developing new platforms, both of which could benefit from the proposed technology.

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.

Attitude Determination and Control
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14