NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 A3.02-8949
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomy of the National Airspace System (NAS)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Autonomous Airport Operations for Safe and Efficient Use of Airports

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Optimal Synthesis, Inc.
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Victor H. L. Cheng
vcheng@optisyn.com
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585 Extension :111

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Victor H. L. Cheng
vcheng@optisyn.com
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585 Extension :111

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Autonomy of the National Airspace System (NAS) is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The concepts of Virtual Towers and Autonomous Airport Operations emerged as cost-effective options in early conceptualization of the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) for relieving traffic demand at major airports by providing control tower services at nearby uncontrolled airports. These concepts have the benefit of saving the tower construction cost and the cost for otherwise staffing the towers with a full cadre of controllers. More recently, the threat of sequestration forced the FAA to announce closure of 149 airport towers; though the closure plan was rescinded, these concepts again appear as viable alternatives for providing control-tower services at reduced costs. Virtual Towers and Autonomous Airport Operations are in fact related concepts. On one hand, Virtual Towers depend on automation to allow a small crew of controllers to manage traffic at multiple airports, and the increase in automation moves the concept towards Autonomous Airport Operations as automation becomes more capable. On the other hand, Autonomous Airport Operations should have controllers available as a fall-back option in a Virtual Tower environment to ensure safety when abnormal conditions emerge. The proposed research seeks to develop practical concepts for Autonomous Airport Operations, and apply state-of-the-art automation technologies to enable such operations. The automation technologies include a computer-based ATC agent that can monitor and plan traffic movement, issue clearances, and communicate with the pilots over the radio using advanced speech processing technologies. In addition, low-cost surveillance systems based on machine vision will be explored to provide the necessary traffic information around the airport and on the airport surface.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Autonomous Airport Operations (AAO) has already been identified as a research topic of interest to the Safe Autonomous System Operations (SASO) Project of NASA's Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP). The AAO Concept of Operations (ConOps) will provide useful input for the NASA research. The AAO system platform research product will be delivered to NASA by the end of Phase II, to support its in-house AAO research involving human-in-the-loop experiments; the platform will allow NASA to study different implementation of the automation algorithms and operational procedures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the near term, improvements of the speech agent technology from this SBIR will be applied to OSI's existing SESIA system for marketing to the simulation community within NASA, the FAA, and DoD organizations. It will also benefit air traffic control training facilities, including the FAA Academy located at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, OK, and DoD training facilities such as the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) in Pensacola, FL. Similarly, improvements of the machine-vision-based surveillance system will be applied to OSI's existing VBASS system for marketing to airports as a low-cost surveillance platform.

In the far term, the complete AAO automation platform and its component technologies will form the basis of airport automation systems to promote for airport applications, with the ultimate goal of realizing AAO as envisioned by the NASA program.

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
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Command & Control
Image Analysis
Image Processing
Man-Machine Interaction
Perception/Vision
Simulation & Modeling
Transport/Traffic Control

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37