NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A3.01-9867
SUBTOPIC TITLE: NextGen Airspace
PROPOSAL TITLE: Analysis and Development of UAV Operations in the NAS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive
Manassas, VA 20110 - 2702
(703) 369-3633

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Antonio Abad
1 Broadway, 12th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1189
(617) 500-7048

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aurora Flight Sciences, in collaboration with Air Network Simulation and Analysis, Inc. (ANSA), proposes to develop a simulation-based methodology to analyze and guide the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS).The key technical accomplishment of the Phase I effort will be the integration of Aurora's 4D Path Planner with ANSA's stochastic NAS simulation. Within this framework, the path planner generates trajectories inside a single ARTCC of interest, and is supported by a coarser ANSA model of the remaining NAS.Simulation requirements will be developed for civil aircraft routing and planning in dynamic, stochastic environments, and will include realistic performance models for both manned and unmanned vehicles. The initial, proof-of-concept simulation environments will be comprised of exactly one ARTCC and one Terminal Area. Aurora will use this simulation to conduct a Capacity Impact Study during the Phase I effort. A major focus of the study will be a parametric analysis in which the effects from varying the UAV separation standards, flight performance, quantity relative to manned aircraft, and total operations growth on NAS performance will be simulated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora envisions two NASA Commercial Applications resulting from the proposed innovation. First, the simulation platform, as well as any results, analysis and capabilities, can be used by NASA to assist in bringing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to fruitition. Another application is made possible because a portion of the Phase 2 effort will be devoted to extending the simulation capability across the entire NAS. Given that the standard airspace simulation for many research applications is NASA's Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES), this portion of the effort could be tailored to porting specific elements of our platform and approach to it.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora envisions several possible non-NASA Commercial Applications resulting from the proposed innovation. First, the simulation platform could be used as a tool to guide the company's strategy for integrating UAVs into the NAS. Second, the simulation platform could be used to make an informed case to system managers for opening or increasing access to target locations in the NAS. In this form, Aurora could license the platform to air transportation stakeholders, while also providing related consulting and support services. In addition, the simulation platform could be used to position Aurora as the first third-party developer of FAA-approved UAV operations in the NAS. Given some future FAA-specified certification process, Aurora could use the platform to design approved routes and procedures for other UAV operators and vendors. In this capacity, Aurora would resemble third-party developers that currently design approved RNP procedures and routes that are then processed through an abbreviated certification process.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Simulation Modeling Environment

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56