NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Technologies for Improved Aviation Security
PROPOSAL TITLE:Real Time Monitoring and Test Vector Generation for Improved Flight Safety

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Barron Associates, Inc.
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville ,VA 22901 - 2496
(434) 973 - 1215

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 -2496
(434) 973 - 1215

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As the complexity of flight controllers grows so does the cost associated with verification and validation (V&V). Current-generation controllers are reaching levels of complexity that push the envelopes of existing V&V approaches, and further increases in controller complexity are required to provide the operational capabilities desired for next generation systems. Without improved approaches, there is little hope for affordable V&V of next-generation intelligent systems and, unfortunately, controller validation is required to ensure the safety of these systems. Barron Associates proposes an aggressive plan of research to develop monitoring algorithms that estimate, in real time, safety margins of complex feedback systems based on observed differences between the model used for controller development and actual flight data. The Phase II research will focus on the flight test environment where these algorithms will allow the flight test engineer to monitor and revise the test plan in real time - accelerating the test-matrix buildup when safety is assured and avoiding test points where safety is questionable. The tool will also recommend test points that could help refine safety margin estimates for as yet unexecuted maneuvers. The result will be reduced flight test costs and improved safety.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed software tool will be a key enabling technology for safe and efficient flight testing of any advanced air vehicle, manned or unmanned. The key area of application will be aviation safety and security, where the Phase II product will facilitate the safety of flight testing advanced fault-tolerant and damage-adaptive controllers for which design-time V&V assurances may be less complete than for traditional controllers (e.g., Lockheed's AIMSAFE as part of AvSP and Dryden's PCA system). In particular, the intended initial application of the tool will be for the AirSTAR sub-scale flying test-bed. The AirSTAR is intended to allow testing that is too high risk for manned aircraft, and effective safety monitoring is especially important in this high-risk environment. Flight tests involving NASA's full-scale 757 will also benefit from the technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA aerospace applications include flight testing of advanced military systems such as 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. Significant commercial potential for the technology exists as well. Initial demonstration on AirSTAR will provide a foundation for using the tool in tests of commercial transport aircraft. An even larger potential market is in unmanned aerial vehicles. There are a large number of unmanned vehicles currently being developed for both military and civilian applications, and these vehicles frequently utilize advanced control systems that represent relatively high risk. Flight test programs of such vehicles could thus benefit substantially from the proposed software tool.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52