NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 A1.09-9235
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Pilot Interactions with Adaptive Control Systems under Off-Nominal Conditions
PROPOSAL TITLE: 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 S Hawthrone Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 7083
(310) 679-2281 Extension :27

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To enhance aviation safety, numerous adaptive control techniques have been developed to maintain aircraft stability and performance in the presence of failures or damage. Flight evaluations of various adaptive controllers conducted by NASA and others have shown great promise. In some cases 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. proposes the Smart Adaptive Flight Effective Cue or SAFE-Cue. This innovative system provides force feedback to the pilot via an active control inceptor with corresponding command path gain adjustments. The SAFE-Cue alerts the pilot that the adaptive control system is active, provides guidance via force feedback cues, and attenuates commands, thus ensuring pilot-vehicle system stability and performance in the presence of damage or failures. Phase 2 will build upon a successful Phase 1 demonstration wherein SAFE-Cue configurations eliminated pilot-vehicle system oscillation tendencies allowing the evaluation pilots to focus on the task rather than maintaining control. In this proposed program, a prototype SAFE-Cue will be developed and evaluated with exemplar adaptive controllers using the Calspan Learjet In-Flight Simulator.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SAFE-Cue directly addresses a concern of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control topic under NASA's Aviation Safety Program to prevent pilot-vehicle system loss of control in the presence of an active adaptive control system. A successful Phase 2 will produce a prototype SAFE-Cue system that will alert the pilot regarding flight control system adaptations due to failures/damage and constrain the pilot via active inceptor force feedback and command path gain attenuation as a means to mitigate loss-of-control. While the SAFE-Cue system is designed to work with adaptive systems, the concept is general and has application to any flight control system. 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. This system can be applied to NASA fixed wing and rotorcraft to provide an enhanced level of safety to NASA's flight test activities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Following the successful completion of a Phase 2 in-flight evaluation program, a prototype SAFE-Cue system will be ready to transition into a commercially viable product. For other government agencies, specifically the Department of Defense, the SAFE-Cue system will have high-value due to its potential to reduce loss-of-control accidents in the more extreme military operational environment. This includes the F-35 (all three variants), V-22 tilt-rotor, C-17 military airlifter, and the CH-53K helicopter. The F-35 and the forthcoming CH-53K both feature active pilot inceptors and are thus SAFE-Cue ready with this important technology piece in place. Regarding commercial aviation, the system will be particularly applicable to aircraft with modern FBW flight control systems. Initially, it will be targeted for use in the commercial aircraft fleet where it can add a significantly increased level of safety at a reasonable incremental cost.

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.)
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Pilot Support Systems

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29