NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- A1.01-8269 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023730 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Flight Deck Situation Awareness and Crew Systems Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Constraint-based Analysis of Aircraft Operations

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge , MA   02138 - 4555
(617 ) 491 - 3474

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Dan L. Grecu
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge , MA   02138 - 4555
(617 ) 491 - 3474

Advanced technologies for on-board data recording allow the collection of increasingly sophisticated information during aircraft operation, reflecting decisions and actions taken by the crew, external flight conditions, and the behavior of flight systems. Such data, when subjected to a systematic and focused methodology of analysis, offers a tremendous opportunity for analyzing overall crew behavior, action patterns, and responses. To do this, we propose a novel analysis framework centered on the use of constraint-based safety models. In contrast to data-driven analysis techniques, we propose an approach in which aviation safety experts would define constraint-based models of aircraft operational safety, and then apply these models against recorded data logs to detect and analyze exceedances. Data segments that reveal deviations from the model are then submitted to specialized analysis components that attempt to infer general behaviors across aircraft crews, or across individuals, to assess correlations with the detected deviations. The resulting recommendations can be incorporated in training sessions, simulated flight experiments, and actual test flights, to improve overall safety of maneuvers and performance of crew actions.

Potential commercial applications of the proposed effort include safety critical environments, where operational data is available for processing and analysis. Immediate application areas include railway safety, control rooms for nuclear plants, and for other complex high-value ecologically-sensitive industrial processes. The proposed approach also has immediate application for aircraft safety applications in the military domain.

The full-scope environment for Constraint-based Analysis of Aircraft Operations will have immediate benefit in supporting the Aviation Performance Measurement System (APMS). The proposed capability provides a mixed initiative approach to analyzing vast amounts of data collected during routine flights, by detecting and facilitating the analysis of behaviors that are transient, and may potentially remain undetected. The proposed effort has also integration potential with components of NASA?s Aviation Safety Program by capitalizing on the results of the Aviation System Monitoring and Modeling effort, and on the data sources it provides. The proposed approach can complement the Single Aircraft Prevention Program by integrating the results into a capability that can predict safety hazards due to technical problems, aircraft operation issues, and adverse conditions. Finally, the Constraint-based Analysis of Aircraft Operations can provide valuable input to the System-Wide Accident Prevention Program that looks into aviation safety issues associated with human error and non-procedural compliance.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10