NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 A4.02-9033
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Flight Test Techniques and Measurement Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Fused Reality for Enhanced Flight Test Capabilities

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 South Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 7083
(310) 679-2281

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Edward Bachelder Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 S Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 7083
(310) 679-2281

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In terms of relevancy to piloted evaluation, there remains no substitute for actual flight tests even when considering the fidelity and effectiveness of modern ground-based simulators. In addition to real world cueing, flight test provides subtle but key intangibles that cannot be duplicated in a ground-based simulator. There is, however, a cost to be paid for the benefits of flight in terms of budget, mission complexity, and safety. New technologies and test procedures are therefore needed to maximize the investments and reduce some of the related costs associated with flight test. To address this need, Systems Technology, Inc. is developing a Fused Reality (FR) Flight system that allows a virtual environment to be integrated with the test aircraft so that tasks such as aerial refueling, formation flying, or approach and landing can be accomplished without additional aircraft or risk of operating in close proximity to the ground or other aircraft. Furthermore, for the first time, the dynamic motions of the simulated objects can be directly correlated with the responses of the test aircraft. The FR Flight system will allow real-time observation of and manual interaction with the cockpit environment that serves as a frame for the virtual out-the-window scene.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Following the successful completion of a Phase 2 in-flight evaluation program, a prototype FR-based flight test system will be ready to transition into a commercially viable product. The FR system will have potential applications for NASA, other government agencies, and commercial aviation. For NASA this product will directly address the stated need for highly innovative and more efficient flight test techniques. FR will reduce the need for specific aircraft that are costly and often difficult to schedule. Critical flight test evaluation tasks involving other aircraft and related dynamic elements can still be conducted in a safe and repeatable manner.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For other government agencies, specifically the DoD, a FR-based flight test system will find new uses in addition to those identified for NASA. These include: engagement of simulated enemy aircraft and/or ground targets, safe in-situ training for somatogravic and other hazardous optical/vestibular illusions, human-in-the-loop accident reconstruction, interaction of test aircraft with unmanned aerial vehicles, mission training and rehearsal, and degraded visibility training such as rotorcraft brownout. For commercial aviation, a FR-based flight test system can be used for up-and-away collision avoidance training, poor visibility approach and landings, runway incursions, etc. Finally, a powerful FR application is in-flight synthetic vision for actual operations during impoverished or uncertain visual environments. Here, the entire cockpit window area can be a virtual HUD where symbology/objects are superimposed on or replace the actual out-of-the-window scene. In this application an intended runway can be highlighted, the precise location of other aircraft can be displayed, etc.

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.

Human-Computer Interfaces
Pilot Support Systems
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26