NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 A1.13-8936
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Upset Protection System
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Automated Energy Management and Crew Alerting System for Upset Prevention

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Barron Associates, Inc.
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901 - 2496
(434) 973-1215

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Neha Gandhi
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901 - 2496
(434) 973-1215

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Loss-Of-Control-In-flight (LOC-I) has been a longstanding contributor to fatal aircraft accidents. However, recent high-profile incidents, including Colgan Air Flight 3407 and Air France Flight 447, have underscored the importance of mitigating the LOC-I risk. In both of these incidents, it is clear that improper energy management was one of the precipitating factors that led to eventual loss of controlled flight. In order to reduce the potentially devastating effects of a mismanaged energy condition, Barron Associates has teamed with SA technologies to design and demonstrate an energy state protection system. The system pairs Barron Associates' proven optimization and control technologies with SA Technologies' situation-awareness-driven interfaces. Although built upon innovative ideas and algorithms, the proposed system focuses on the cardinal duty of "aviate" through pilot interaction and automated energy management. The energy state protection system: (1) models the dynamic evolution of the energy state and the energy requirements of the aircraft with flight phase, (2) determines an effective allocation of available flight controls to correct an off-nominal energy state and maintain safe operating margin, and (3) ensures that the crew is brought back into the "aviate" loop through effective alerting thus minimizing adverse pilot interactions with the automated components. Pilot-in-the-loop simulator testing will be used to demonstrate the benefits of energy state protection system and will pave the way for limited-envelop flight testing in Phase II and expanded-envelop flight testing in Phase III.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The energy state protection system addresses three of the NASA's Aviation Safety Program's (AvSP) top ten challenges ( Automation Design Tools; Crew-System Interactions and Decisions; and Loss of Control Prevention, Mitigation, and Recovery. The research conducted in the Phase I program sits as the junction of two integral components of the AvSP: the System-Wide Safety and Assurance Technologies (SSAT) Project and the Vehicle Systems Safety Technologies (VSST) Project. The SSAT project seeks to develop a more comprehensive understanding of human involvement in aviation safety, studying how human beings interact with automated flight deck and air traffic control systems. The VSST project seeks to investigate loss-of-control events that may occur because of unintended entry into unusual flight conditions, response to on-board failures, and/or environmental disturbances. Under this project, NASA is developing, assessing and validating methods for avoiding, detecting and successfully resolving such situations as well as developing future flight deck design tools and concepts to promote effective human-automation interaction and error recovery. The current research seeks to understand how lack of situational awareness (due to ineffective interaction with an increasingly automated flight deck) can cause improper energy management. Furthermore, the current research seeks to improve situational awareness through effective human-automatio

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The immediate non-NASA application is algorithms, software, and tools that enable the use of energy management and upset prevention systems in the civil aviation industry. The technology is easily extensible to military applications, including remotely piloted systems. The proposer has an excellent track record transitioning algorithms for use in commercial and defense-related applications.

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
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Command & Control
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Man-Machine Interaction
Recovery (see also Vehicle Health Management)
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43