NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S3.04-7968
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: UAS Flight Planning Tool for Atmospheric Energy Extraction

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Swift Engineering, Inc.
1141 Via Callejon
San Clemente, CA 92673 - 6230
(949) 492-6608

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Blake Poe
1141 Via Callejon
San Clemente, CA 92673 - 6230
(949) 492-6608 Extension :252

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jonathan Faiella
1141 Via Callejon
San Clemente, CA 92673 - 6230
(949) 492-6608 Extension :245

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies 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)
Aircraft have been flying point to point missions for the past 100 years. Each flight, the fuel energy is burned based upon an assumed time requirement to transport people from one point to another as quickly as possible. Unmanned aerial vehicles do not share this constraint, and many proposed future electric unmanned aerial vehicle missions do not include time from the ground station to the area of interest as a limiting factor. These missions typically list battery life and sensor space inside UAV's as the limiting factors. By adjusting the path flown and exploiting atmospheric energy, air vehicles could potentially fly indefinitely, and/or greatly improve their duration and range.

The following are a few of the benefits that will be possible by utilizing these techniques with a UAV:
1. Fixed wing unmanned electric aircraft could reduce battery weight and exchange it for additional payload capabilities.
2. Winged VTOL (i.e Swift Engineering's X-Blade) aircraft could arrive on
station with full batteries, allowing sustained hovering flight.
3. Energy regeneration by the back-driving of the electric motors.
4. Increased speed en route by flying in lift rather than sink.

Full-scale sailplane pilots use various weather and soaring forecast tools to aid in planning when and where the best conditions will exist for soaring flight. A flight planning tool using a flight simulator with integrated soaring and weather forecasts would run through the entire flight, for several flight paths, and display the important information as the flight unfolds. Plots of battery state, ground speed, GPS position, altitude vs. time, and others would be displayed to showcase the advantages of flying specific flight profiles.

The design, build, and initial flight testing of this simulator tool are the focus of this research which will provide increased capability for any UAV that does not have point to point requirements and may need to survey remote locations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Any mission which would involve scientific research could benefit from this system. Examples would include but not be limited to missions with LIDAR payloads, IR/EO camera payloads, hyperspectral imaging payloads, science analysis of atmospheric data collection, and any remote UAV sensing application for which reaching a location is not time sensitive, but rather battery/payload sensitive. Numerous unmanned and manned atmospheric flight vehicles at NASA could integrate this software and potentially greatly increase mission range and endurance.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A few potential applications for the use of SoarSim at Swift Engineering are as follows:
- X-blade (Swift's flagship UAV development platform)
- Northrop Grumman Bat (designed and manufactured by Swift)
- General military UAV flight planning tool

Other general applications of the methods developed by the SoarSim research could potentially be applied in future research in underwater glider flight planning. Just as the atmosphere possesses areas of free energy that can be exploited, so does the ocean. Long endurance underwater gliders could exploit this just as sailplanes already do in the air.

Private pilots could also potentially utilize this software for increased fuel economy. For a general aviation, light single-engine airplane pilot who flies regularly from Point A to Point B, SoarSim could prove to be a valuable tool. If these pilots do not mind adding a few minutes to their flight time, they could save money while reducing their emissions impact. By using the SoarSim app, they can plan their flight such that they are aloft for 15 minutes longer than the direct route, but burn 40% less fuel. SoarSim also increases the safety of a flight by enhancing situational awareness of the vertical motion of the atmosphere.

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
Navigation & Guidance
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14