NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 A3.02-9691
SUBTOPIC TITLE: NextGen Airportal
PROPOSAL TITLE: ATC Operations Analysis via Automatic Recognition of Clearances

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mosaic ATM, Inc.
801 Sycolin Road, Suite 212
Leesburg, VA 20175 - 5686
(800) 405-8576

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chris Brinton
801 Sycolin Road, Suite #212
Leesburg, VA 20175 - 5686
(800) 405-8576 Extension :11

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Recent advances in airport surface surveillance have motivated the creation of new tools and data sources for analysis of Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations. The Surface Operations Data Analysis and Adaptation (SODAA) tool, which is being used by NASA to conduct airport ATC operations analysis, is a prime example of one such analysis tool. What is missing from ATC operations analysis, however, is accessible and reliable data regarding the clearances issued by the controller and other communication that is conducted with the pilot that influences the behavior that is seen in the surveillance data. The current command and control paradigm for managing air traffic in the National Airspace System (NAS) is highly dependent on voice communication. This approach has benefited the development of ATC over the last century in a number of ways, including a low level of required aircraft equipage and the ability to handle contingency situations and adapt to new requirements easily due to the flexibility and adaptability of the human air traffic controllers and pilots. However, the reliance on voice communication in ATC operations presents challenges to the researcher who is trying to obtain data and conduct detailed analyses of ATC operations. In this proposal, we draw on existing Mosaic ATM expertise and tools to perform automatic speech recognition of ATC clearances. The recognized ATC clearances will be associated with the flight that is the subject of the clearance, time-stamped and encoded into an analysis database. The SODAA tool will be used as the platform for storage and analysis of this verbal clearance data.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The capabilities of the proposed ATC automatic speech recognition capability as have been presented in this proposal would provide significant usefulness to NASA and the FAA in the research and analysis of future NGATS airportal and airspace concepts. Because ATC clearances are issued by verbal command via a radio channel, there is currently no easy way to obtain large amounts of reliable data regarding the clearances that are issued to aircraft. For research efforts that have required ATC clearance data, it has been necessary to obtain the data through manual observation and recording of clearances issues, or by laborious and time-consuming manual review and transcription of recorded ATC audio tapes. However, access to such clearance information would provide additional insights and understanding regarding the strategies and limitations of the air traffic controller for NASA research efforts.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The FAA and NASA are currently collaborating on the continued research and development of SMS/SDSS. Mosaic ATM currently supports NASA in the development of a data mining and analysis tool for airport surface research, as well as in the expansion of the SMS concept and system. The culmination of this collaborative research between Mosaic ATM, NASA and the FAA will be the development and deployment by the FAA of an advanced ATC Tower automation system. The integration of AASR into this advanced ATC Tower automation system will allow tower controllers to continue to operate using the verbal command and control approach that is most conducive to safe and efficient operations, while the advanced ATC automation system will be able to receive electronic data without requiring additional user entries and manual workload.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Database Development and Interfacing
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14