NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 A3.01-9466
SUBTOPIC TITLE: NextGen Airspace
PROPOSAL TITLE: Use-Driven Testbed for Evaluating Systems and Technologies (U-TEST)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1765
(781) 496-2415

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Amy Alexander
12 Gill St, Ste 1400
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1753
(781) 496-2471

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NextGen will require the development of novel solutions to shape the airspace of tomorrow. Along with the ability to generate new systems and technologies comes the need to rigorously evaluate, and eventually validate, the effectiveness of these concepts. However, it is often challenging to translate simulation data into useful, integrated, and contextually-based assessments. Many critical findings are not identified for this reason, which could otherwise guide researchers toward advancements with NextGen technologies. Aptima proposes to develop the Use-driven Testbed for Evaluating Systems and Technologies (U-TEST), a flexible toolset that helps NextGen researchers to efficiently extract findings on pilot performance in simulated flight environments. Three primary components are: (1) context-capturing software will guide researchers to key events and allow important contextual information to be gathered for analysis; (2) a data integration platform that will automate organization of data sources into a format conducive to analysis; and (3) context-based analysis software that will enable deep, focused analysis by combining a quick-look function, an algorithm for focusing analysis, and context-based playback of key events and trials. U-TEST will be an extensible toolset that can help NextGen researchers improve the amount and quality of findings across a range of studies.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
U-TEST will be designed with flexibility and extensibility in mind, and will therefore offer utility to a range of aviation research groups within NASA. In particular, U-TEST will help researchers meet multiple milestones within NASA's Airspace Project, Airportal Project, and Aviation Safety Program. In the NextGen ATM-Airspace Project, U-TEST will provide the capability to rapidly assess the impact of emerging NextGen technologies on pilot performance to inform redesign. This will include providing feedback on NASA's Cockpit Situation Display to guide future modification efforts. In the NextGen ATM-Airportal Project, U-TEST will assist with the collection, integration, and analysis of human performance data within the airportal environment, including gates, taxiways, runways, and approach airspace. In the Aviation Safety Program, U-TEST can support evaluations of pilot performance with novel human-machine integration designs and operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The flexibility and extensibility of U-TEST will also offer utility to many groups external to NASA that conduct flight simulations. First, avionics developers (e.g., Boeing, Honeywell, Garmin, Avidyne) can use U-TEST to collect evaluation data throughout the technology development lifecycle, thus reducing certification time. Second, many human factors researchers (e.g., FAA, MITRE, ARINC, universities) perform similar research and development tasks as NASA, and would benefit from the collection, integration, and analysis capabilities provided by U-TEST. Third, training directors must understand the effects of flight deck technologies to develop the training curriculum that prepares pilots for NextGen. Therefore, flight schools can use U-TEST to explore the effects of new technologies on performance, and develop or adjust the curriculum accordingly.

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 Input/Output Devices
Human-Computer Interfaces
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26