NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 T2.01-9974
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Foundational Research for Aeronautics Experimental Capabilities
PROPOSAL TITLE: Extensible Data Set Architecture for Systems Analysis

NAME: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation NAME: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
STREET: 9950 Wakeman Drive STREET: 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building E19-750
CITY: Manassas CITY: Cambridge
STATE/ZIP: VA  20110 - 2702 STATE/ZIP: MA  02139 - 4307
PHONE: (703) 369-3633 PHONE: (617) 253-3907

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Houghton

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The process of aircraft design requires the integration of data from individual analysis of aerodynamic, structural, thermal, and behavioral properties of a flight vehicle. At present, there is no simple way to integrate the results of the analyses early in the design process. Aurora Flight Sciences and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Aerospace Computational Design Laboratory propose to create a system level analysis framework called the Extensible Data Set Architecture to facilitate this integration, and therefore provide rapid system-wide impact assessment of design changes to a flight vehicle.

The Extensible Data Set Architecture (EDSA) is a generic data storage structure ready for use by a diverse and extendable set of software tools and codes. The EDSA can be arbitrarily extended to allow additional functionality and provides a natural framework for future development of aerospace systems. The framework includes as part of its structure the relevant metadata for ensuring version control, traceability, context-specific documentation, and interface data for relevant tools, while providing a simple structure for extending an existing data set to transparently include new members.

The four primary components of this framework will be 1) an extensible data set used by all codes and analysis tools to store and exchange relevant information; 2) a tool set which can take advantage of the data set, made up of both existing programs and user defined vehicle specific codes; 3) a controller which provides organization, operates the tools, and manages iteration and optimization of the design, and 4) a display code which presents the results of the analysis to the user.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The implementation of this architecture will speed turnaround time for NASA Dryden flight test safety simulation, and allow for rapid evaluation of design concepts and collaborative effort between disciplines and across geographical distances.

The proposed framework will facilitate multi-disciplinary analysis by giving each discipline's preferred tool a common model source, and allow the results of one calculation to be rapidly integrated into another. The framework will allow systems engineers to ensure consistency between disciplinary analyses through the use of universal version control as applied to design changes. The framework will facilitate communication between geographically disparate users by allowing updated model data to be seamlessly pushed to various users, preventing outdated model data from being used for any new work. Additionally, the framework will give the engineer unprecedented access to complete system information during preliminary design, with a choice of display tools which is independent of the origin of the data.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Modern aircraft system engineering strives to integrate subsystems into an efficient concept which responds to the needs of the vehicle's mission. As these designs become more tightly coupled, such that changes to a subsystem rapidly propagate through the vehicle, the design process must adapt to show the interactions between subsystems as early as possible in the design process, and to facilitate communication between traditionally separate engineering disciplines.

The primary financial incentive for Aurora's development of this system is the increased productivity associated with use of the tool. Aurora completes on average 4 preliminary aircraft designs per year, each taking up to ½ a man-year. This tool is anticipated to speed preliminary analysis by as much as 50% as the system matures, with potential net benefit to Aurora of up to 50,000 per design. This tool is also expected to generate more business for Aurora by improving our turnaround for tightly coupled system engineering and increasing Aurora's ability to respond to needs in the military and civilian UAV markets.

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.

Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14