NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 A2.02-9059
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Collision-avoidance radar for small UAS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UAVradars, LLC
2029 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047 - 1620
(316) 461-1181

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Lei Shi
2029 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047 - 1620
(316) 461-1181

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Lei Shi
2029 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047 - 1620
(316) 461-1181

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In the near future unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will be utilized for many societal and commercial applications. However, the hurdle of operation safety in the form of avoiding airborne collisions must first be overcome. Radar is ideally suited for this purpose due to their all weather capability to provide accurate position and velocity data. UAVradars LLC is proposing a small, lightweight, and low-power radar system designed specifically to give small UAS (UAS < 50 lbs) airborne situation awareness capability. The proposed radar is based on previous R&D funded by NASA LEARN at the University of Kansas from 2012 – 2014. This effort resulted in a brassboard proof-of-concept radar system that was successfully flight tested onboard a Cessna 172. The brassboard system was then miniaturized demonstrating the feasibility of reducing its size, weight and power consumption. The proposed SBIR objectives focuses on three technical objectives needed to commercialize this radar. Objective 1 is to develop a FPGA controller/processor that can replace the user laptop allowing UAS flight testing in phase II. Objective 2 is to move the radar operation to the ISM band to avoid FCC complications (supporting NASA's goal to simplify certification needs) and to adaptively allocate the radar operating frequency to maximize detection performance. Objective 3 is to encode each radar's transmit with a random phase allowing multiple radar carrying UASs to operate within the same area without cross-jamming one another. By performing these tasks, the resulting phase I radar system will meet NASA's need for UAS technology that would allow humans to safely operate multiple UAS with minimal oversight, and provide the foundation for UAS external perception/cognition and multi-vehicle cooperation. Phase I will result in simulation, hardware in the loop testing, and analysis of all three objectives leveraging the existing prototype miniature radar system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA currently has multiple UAS applications/technology development programs which could benefit from the proposed situation awareness radar system. NASA's Autonomous Robust Avionics (AuRA) would benefit from the radar's ability to reduce operator workload. In Phase II & III the radar will be integrated with an adaptive flight controller such as the one being developed at the University of Kansas from which the proposed radars obtains its detection range requirements. Either as a stand-alone sensor or integrated with other devices, the situation awareness provided by the radar could greatly affect the rules and regulations for remotely operated aircraft in the national airspace (ROA in the NAS) which NASA, the FAA, and other agencies are collaborating on. NASA Earth Science Capability Demonstration (ESCD) could utilize the radar to allow UAS to carry out dangerous missions such as remote sensing in hostile environments. Finally, since radars are capable of operating in outer space and the proposed situation awareness radar has strict limitations on size, weight, and power, there could be a potential space mission application.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The commercial UAS market worldwide is already a multibillion dollar industry in which the U.S. is lagging. Some commercial uses include agriculture, film/photography, academia, package delivery, law enforcement, and by hobbyists for recreation. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has predicted a multibillion dollar U.S. economy for commercial UAS in the next ten years. However, to achieve this possibility, UAS operation must first be made safe. The proposed radar system will be a critical sensor in achieving the necessary safety level due to its all weather, stand-alone (not reliant on a wireless data link), detection capability. Therefore, any commercial application for UAS is essentially a commercial application of the radar system. This could include precision agriculture, the movie industry, pipeline monitoring, search and rescue, border patrol, package delivery, and many more. By phase III, UAVradars will work towards developing sensor and autopilot integration with the radar system providing a complete airborne collision-avoidance package to make these applications even more commercially viable. In the meantime, a marketing strategy for promoting the radar system during each technical development stage is being formulated so that the product can be commercialized as soon as possible and allows for multiple revenue streams.

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Interferometric (see also Analysis)
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37