NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 A5.01-8803
SUBTOPIC TITLE: UAS Integration in the NAS
PROPOSAL TITLE: Real-time Estimation of UAS Performance Using Efficient Sampling of Functional Models

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Numerica Corporation
4850 Hahns Peak Drive, Suite 200
Loveland, CO 80538 - 6003
(970) 461-2000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Adaska
4850 Hahns Peak Drive, Suite 200
Loveland, CO 80538 - 6003
(970) 461-2000 Extension :229

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Numerica proposes to developed advanced algorithms for constructing a UAS vehicle model from ATC surveillance data in real-time. Using functional descriptions of aircraft performance and computationally efficient sampling techniques, UAS model parameters are estimated, and aircraft maneuvers that best improve these estimates are determined. Numerica's approach has two important advantages. First it is agnostic to the specific structure of the aircraft performance model and can be used with a range of parameterized modeling techniques ranging from simplified "table look-up" models to physics-based kinetic models. This permits faster integration with current ATM systems since it leverages (rather than replaces) existing trajectory prediction techniques and databases. Second, the functional descriptions do not require that the models for propulsion or aerodynamic forces to adhere to a specific analytical form. This allows tremendous modeling flexibility and permits the inclusion of complicated atmospheric factors that may be relevant for trajectory prediction but are difficult to capture with simple closed-form expressions. Since the approach has solid theoretical foundations, the algorithms can be also used in an offline context to help establish bounds on the "best-possible" model estimation performance given the accuracy and character of available surveillance data. This capability could help in determining requirements on ATC sensors to enable reliable trajectory predictions for UAS that lack detailed performance models.

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 UASs into the NAS will only grow. As such, NASA's Airspace Systems Program could be a key customer of the proposed technology. One possible application would be integrating the technology into a NASA simulation environment such as the Future ATM Concept Evaluation Tool (FACET). The developed techniques use functional models and are thus are agnostic to specific trajectory predictions techniques. Thus they could assist traffic controllers in assessing potential conflicts in the strategic collision avoidance timeline.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Ultra Electronics

Ultra-Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems offers the Advanced Fusion and Tracking System (AFTS). The US Army's Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS) already uses Ultra's AFTS product for airspace management. Numerica's technology could be a plug-in for AFTS trajectory estimation and prediction modules, as well as Ultra's TacView user interface to help operators mitigate airspace conflicts.

US Military UAS

Given the interest in developing UAS platforms, there is significant need for reliable trajectory prediction. One development activity is the MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV). Another ongoing Navy development program is for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) platform.

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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Data Fusion
Data Processing
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43