NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 A3.01-9072
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Concepts and Technology Development (CTD)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Operational Assessment of Controller Complexity

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mosaic ATM, Inc.
801 Sycolin Road, Suite 212
Leesburg, VA 20175 - 5084
(800) 405-8576

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ken Leiden
596 Lykins Avenue
Boulder, CO 80304 - 4373
(720) 938-7352

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In today's operations, acceptable levels of controller workload are maintained by assigning sector capacities based on simple aircraft count and a capacity threshold known as the monitor alert parameter (MAP). The MAP value of a sector is typically 5/3 of average sector flight time (or dwell time) measured in minutes, but may be adjusted up or down as necessary to account for other considerations such as sector geometry, traffic mix, and phase of flight. Future operations may utilize complexity as a proxy for workload instead. Our proposed research builds upon existing NASA complexity metrics by analyzing operational data to validate the factors that contribute to complexity in actual operations. We believe we have formulated a novel validation approach to apply to complexity. Our goal is to analyze a large sampling of operational data (substantially larger than could ever be provided by human-in-the-loop simulations) for a wide range of distinct sector types within Center airspace. This large and diverse sampling is anticipated to provide statistical significance to the validation of complexity factors. Most importantly, we believe that demonstrating sound operational validation of complexity is a key step in enabling the transition from aircraft count-based capacity to complexity-based capacity.
The first objective is to develop a capability to analyze operational data that can identify sectors whose MAP value deviates from the 5/3 dwell time rule. These sectors will likely exhibit complexity that is higher or lower than the nominal complexity associated with a given MAP value. The next objective is to determine which complexity factors are positively or negatively influencing the sector capacity deviation from the 5/3 dwell time rule from the training set of operational sectors. The final objective is to validate that the complexity factors identified can accurately predict deviations from the 5/3 dwell time rule for the validation set of operational sectors.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed SBIR has two primary focuses. First, we will deliver a complexity analysis tool to NASA so that NASA researchers can conduct their own complexity-related research. For example, NASA researchers can introduce new complexity factors and see if the factors are supported by the operational data. In addition, researchers involved with HITL experiments can leverage this capability to simplify the arduous post-processing of complexity-related data.
Second, we will perform specific research studies to complement NASA's internal projects. Studies we perform using the complexity analysis tool will be directly useful to NASA. The study results will guide subsequent NASA research studies. The technical approach may re-used by NASA or may influence the approaches NASA takes on future projects.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The complexity analysis tool will also be very useful in establishing capacities for dynamically-generated sectors for FAA FlexAirspace. In addition, results of research studies that we will publish in reports, conferences, and journals may also help shape the FAA plan for migrating from today's MAP-based capacities to complexity-based capacities.
The most likely Phase 3 activities involve further development of the complexity analysis tool and underlying statistical capabilities to support NASA's continued aeronautics mission. The complexity analysis tool could be used within field trials throughout the NAS where the complexity procedures may be refined and actual benefits may be measured. Mosaic ATM has conducted field trials of this type previously with other automation tools and concepts and is well qualified to complete these Phase 3 objectives with minimal risk.

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

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12