NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control
PROPOSAL TITLE:Model Based Aircraft Upset Detection and Recovery System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue
Ewing, NJ 08618-2302
(609) 538-0444

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey D Keller
34 Lexington Avenue
Ewing, NJ  08618-2302
(609) 538-0444

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal describes a system for detecting upset conditions and providing the corresponding control recovery actions to maintain flight integrity for general application to aircraft. To maintain and improve aircraft safety as air capacity grows as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS), it is necessary to address the primary causes leading to in-flight loss of control accidents, including aircraft upsets, degraded flight operations, and environmental disturbance effects. A model-based upset detection and recovery control architecture is proposed that combines fault detection algorithms to identify the onset of an upset condition with optimal and near-optimal control responses. On-line parameter identification algorithms are used to adapt the core detection and recovery algorithms for degraded flight operations and/or modeling uncertainties. Distributed MEMS-based sensing and SMA-driven control effectors are used to augment the installed aircraft state measurements and control capability for rapid detection of and recovery from upset conditions. During Phase I, preliminary system design and application to a small unmanned aircraft will be performed, including flight test demonstration of the upset detection and control algorithms and hardware. This work will form the foundation for subsequent development of a family of aircraft upset mitigation systems for both manned and unmanned aircraft.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary outcome of this research and development will be control algorithms and flight hardware that will provide for the detection and mitigation of aircraft upset conditions. Aircraft upsets, which may occur due to degraded flight conditions, aerodynamic disturbances, and environmental effects, are a common cause of in-flight loss-of-control accidents. Potential NASA applications of this technology include development of an aircraft upset warning system, flight director, or flight control law, which will address NASA goals of improving safety attributes of new and legacy air vehicles, in particular key metrics such as fatal aircraft accident rates. Applications will also be found in supporting NASA unmanned aircraft operations by enhancing reliability and expanding science mission capability.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to improving safety of existing and future manned aircraft, the results of this research and development will also benefit unmanned aviation. Detection and mitigation of upset conditions for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) will directly impact military operations in which UAV accident rates are one to two orders of magnitude greater than for manned aircraft. Furthermore, by decreasing the susceptibility of UAVs to upset-induced losses through increased autonomy, a significant hurdle impeding public acceptance of UAV operations in the civil airspace will be overcome, opening the door for commercial and civil applications of unmanned aircraft systems.

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.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Pilot Support Systems

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19