NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 03- II A7.01-8386
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Smart, Adaptive Aerospace Vehicles With Intelligence
PROPOSAL TITLE: Analytical and Simulation Framework for Performance Validation of Complex Systems

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alec J.D. Bateman
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901-0807
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Next-generation aerospace systems will require increased autonomy to modify system behavior based on changing mission requirements, environmental factors, and system performance. For example, intelligent systems have been employed to improve safety by adaptively compensating for unexpected failures or damage. Despite many successful demonstrations of autonomous and intelligent control laws in simulations and flight tests, the difficulty associated with the verification, validation, and testing of adaptive and nondeterministic systems poses a significant barrier to their use in safety-critical systems. The proposed Phase II research addresses this challenge through the development of innovative V\&V algorithms and easy-to-use software tools that will provide intelligent, automated, and interactive test plan generation and execution. The tool will integrate state-of-the-art analysis and numerical methods to automatically generate test vector sets, execute high-fidelity simulations or monitor pilot-in-the-loop simulations, analyze simulation results, and adapt/modify future test vectors based on observations to date. The result will be a significant reduction in cost associated with system testing while simultaneously offering a significant increase in the probability that system problems are uncovered early in the development process. The tool will have broad applicability for aerospace as well as non-aerospace applications.

Non-NASA aerospace applications include V\&V of advanced systems for JSF, J-UCAS, retrofit reconfigurable controllers for F-18 and other aircraft, the Helicopter Advanced Control Technologies (HACT) system, and next-generation rotorcraft fuel and engine control systems. Barron Associates is currently providing advanced control and V\&V technology to all of these programs. Non-aerospace applications include V\&V of electrical power distribution systems, nuclear power plant control systems, autonomous surface and underwater vehicles, marine steering systems, and medical devices. Again, these are all areas in which Barron Associates is currently providing advanced control and V\&V technology.

The proposed software tool will be a key enabling technology for verification and validation of any advanced and autonomous system. Two key areas of application will be aviation safety and security and space exploration. For aviation safety and security, the Phase II product will enable the testing and verification of advanced fault-tolerant and damage-adaptive controllers (e.g., Lockheed's AIMSAFE as part of AvSP and Dryden's PCA and IFC systems). For space exploration, the Phase II product will enable safe incorporation of more sophisticated autonomy to allow remote operation in highly uncertain environments without a real-time remote operator.