NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 A3.01-8092
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Concepts and Technology Development (CTD)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Artificial Intelligence for Refining Multi-Aircraft Testbed Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1753
(781) 935-3966

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nathan Schurr
nschurr@aptima.com
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1765
(781) 496-2453

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA is researching various concepts, procedures, standards, and technologies intended for NextGen Airspace. Complex, distributed airspace simulations that utilize experimental testbeds (e.g., Multi Aircraft Control System, or MACS) are vital research tools for these projects. However, managing the various complexities and coordination of agent-supported separation assurance can be challenging. This often creates undesired staffing and training requirements, workload, and susceptibility to human error that can disrupt planned scenario events. To address this issue, we propose to develop Artificial Intelligence for Refining Multi-Aircraft Testbed Environments (AIR-MATE). This proposed innovation will provide a MACS-interoperable software module that coordinates the behaviors of human-automation pairs in simulated NextGen airspace. This effort will leverage recent advancements in distributed constraints optimization and adjustable autonomy to analyze airspace simulations in a decentralized, parallel manner and solve problems locally for enhanced efficiency. This technology will reduce the workload and staffing requirements in current NextGen simulations, while ensuring the desired scenario events and separation assurance is properly executed. The results of the AIR-MATE effort will be a more controlled and high-fidelity testbed environment that will aid researchers, increase the quality of NextGen research, and ultimately benefit the development of NextGen concepts.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
AIR-MATE will be useful to NASA researchers within the Concepts and Technology Development Project, Systems Analysis Integration and Evaluation Project, and Aviation Safety Program as a software module that will allow them to meet multiple milestones related to the assessment of emerging NextGen concepts. It will provide the capability to populate NextGen simulations with well-coordinated human-automation pairs that consistently execute desired actions, thereby improving airspace simulations for evaluation purposes, and lessening the workload and staffing requirements for researchers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
AIR-MATE will appeal to avionics manufacturers external to NASA that are developing and/or researching concepts and technologies aimed at NextGen integration, for many of the same reasons as NASA would benefit. Research organizations (e.g., MITRE, Volpe) and universities may also benefit from this application, as they are often interested in conducting research within the scope of the NextGen environment. In the future, AIR-MATE could also be utilized in a number of domains dependent on distributed asset management systems. Examples of this application include Air and Space Operations Centers (AOC) within the Air Force, and Maritime Operations Centers (MOC) within the Navy.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Intelligence
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)


Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12