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)
AeroTech Research (USA), Inc.
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   Robinson
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Suite 200
Newport News, VA  23606-4507
(757) 723-1300

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Financial constraints, government recommendations, and the need for improved operational efficiency are requiring airlines to review their "on-condition" maintenance practices. Many of the specific conditions and events of interest to airline maintenance are not being monitored by automatic systems, and some events are being identified 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 (QCAAS) 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 QCAAS 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.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This system will directly support the Aviation Safety Program's focus of protecting and preventing damage to aircraft due to abnormal operations and system failures, and can be directly applied to two research thrusts of this program: 1) Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM), part of whose focus is development of computationally efficient tools for in-flight prognosis of aircraft health, self-awareness of airframe issues, mitigation of airframe failures, and the development of preventative and adaptive systems for in-flight operability and informed logistics and maintenance; 2) Aircraft Aging and Durability, whose focus is detection and mitigation/management of aging-related hazards of civilian and military aircraft. The fact that the system comprises software only, lends itself to straightforward integration into simulations, laboratory tests, and flight experiments on NASA research aircraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed QCAAS 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 and the scheduling of the maintenance. Maintenance will then be able to collaborate with operations personnel to minimize the impact to overall operations. QCAAS will assist aircraft operators in meeting NSTB Safety Recommendations on high load inspections and will enable implementation and execution of the recommendations of an industry/FAA committee studying special inspection procedures. Delta has stated that QCAAS may help substantiate extending the operational limits/life of aircraft.

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.

Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Database Development and Interfacing
Human-Computer Interfaces
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04