NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Automated On-Line Health Management and Data Analysis
PROPOSAL TITLE:A Real-Time Quantitative Condition Alerting and Analysis Support System for Aircraft Maintenance

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Suite 200
Newport News ,VA 23606 - 4507
(757) 723 - 1300

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul A Robinson
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Ste 200
Newport News, VA  23606 -4507
(757) 723 - 1300

Financial constraints and the need for improved operational efficiency are requiring airlines to emphasize "on-condition" maintenance over scheduled maintenance where possible. However, many of the specific conditions and events of interest to airline maintenance are not being monitored by automatic systems. Some of these events are detected through a subjective determination by the aircrew. This subjective determination can result in both maintenance being performed unnecessarily and maintenance not being performed when needed. AeroTech will develop a multi-tier, Quantitative Condition Alerting and Analysis Support (Q-CAAS) system for aircraft that will in real-time, automatically downlink to maintenance personnel, reports on the occurrence of specific conditions and events (e.g. loads exceedance). The reports will be displayed on a web based, ground station network. The system will also track individual aircraft's exposure to particular in-flight conditions allowing airline personnel to tailor maintenance programs to individual aircraft. By providing quantifiable data in real-time, operational decisions can be made to minimize the impact and maximize the benefits of on-condition maintenance. The Q-CAAS system will be comprised only of software that can be implemented on most current fleet aircraft, keeping costs low, minimizing the time to market, and therefore maximizing the likelihood of industry adoption.

This system will directly support the Aviation Safety and Security Program's focus of protecting and preventing damage to aircraft due to abnormal operations and system failures, and can be directly applied to two elements of this focus: 1) the Phase I Single Aircraft Accident Prevention element, whose goal is to develop health and usage technologies that enable realtime and trending status of critical on-board aircraft systems in order to reduce failed equipment citings in fatal accident reports by 15%, and 2) the Phase II Aircraft & Propulsion Systems Self-Diagnosis & Self Reliance element, which includes a subproject for developing sensors for self-diagnostics of structural components. The fact that the system comprises software only, lends itself to straightforward integration into simulations, laboratory tests, and flight experiments on NASA research aircraft.

The proposed system will have numerous benefits to airlines (including regional jet operators) and business jet operators in their efforts to keep their aircraft in top working condition, to ensure safe operation of aircraft, to reduce maintenance costs, and to reduce operational delays (and therefore costs) due to unscheduled maintenance. The system also has applications within the Department of Defense, including UAVs. The real-time information provided by the system will enable maintenance personnel to make immediate decisions regarding the need for maintenance and the scheduling of the maintenance. Maintenance will then be able to work with operations personnel to minimize the impact to overall operations. Delta Air Lines has agreed to support AeroTech in the development of the system. When the goals of this work are complete, with Delta's participation, the operational and maintenance benefits will be quantifiable, and the commercial case for adoption of this system will be demonstrated.

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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Pilot Support Systems

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12