NASA is seeking to supplement low-altitude meteorologic information to enable Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) service. AAM is a concept for safe, sustainable, affordable, and accessible aviation (e.g., passenger transport, aerial work, and cargo transport) both locally and intraregionally. The use of data from sensors that are not currently aviation-approved to identify local conditions along the route of transit, rather than making broad assumptions from sparsely distributed sensors, would allow for more effective use of the airspace, enhance safety, and improve operational efficiency by providing improved real-time wind, cloud ceiling, and visibility data. To address this need, Intellisense Systems, Inc. (Intellisense) proposes to develop the new Extraction of Supplemental Meteorological Data (EXTRA) system to provide fine-granularity weather data based on (1) direct measurement from low-cost, widely distributed meteorological sensors, (2) artificial intelligence (AI) data extracted from nonmeteorological sensors, (3) central data collection, (4) extrapolation of overhead conditions from ground conditions, and (5) go/no-go determination based on safety criteria. The system will result in very fine-scale data to fill the gaps in legacy weather-sensing equipment in order to enable the emerging transformation of the skies that AAM will bring about. EXTRA operates on the principle of multi-sensory integration by which data sets from a range of disparate sources (such as direct readings from weather sensors or AI analysis of traffic camera imagery) are collected in order to synthesize a detailed map (down to a resolution on the order of 100 ft) and to subsequently extrapolate from that weather map to the wind field above the location of the sensors (i.e., winds aloft) and ultimately make go/no-go recommendations. This technology directly supports the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) AAM mission.
The EXTRA system has direct applicability to NASA research, specifically to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) mission to accelerate applications of passenger transport, aerial work, and cargo transport. Among the three pillars of the AAM ecosystem (vehicle, airspace, and community), weather is a critical aspect of the airspace component and the EXTRA technology addresses this critical need with a minimal-footprint, low-cost solution.
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) will revolutionize transportation and delivery with an enormous impact expected on the commercial aerospace industry. Safe operation of all aircraft including new electric and hybrid aircraft (e.g., Joby Aviation, Wisk Aero ) requires monitoring of the weather, and the EXTRA system will be an essential element of the overall AAM system.