NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 A3.02-8221
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Systems Analysis Integration Evaluation (SAIE)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Networked Communications and Speech System for Airspace System Assessments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Optimal Synthesis, Inc.
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Victor Cheng
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585 Extension :111

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As concepts and technologies being developed for the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) mature, the natural progression is to study their integration and evaluation in the operational environment. Before they can be integrated into the National Airspace System (NAS) for evaluation in the field, they typically have to undergo extensive human-in-the-loop (HITL) testing in a controlled laboratory environment to identify and work out the issues. Depending on the particular concept/technology, the HITL experiments may involve subject matter experts (SMEs) including air traffic controllers (ATC) and pilots. The laboratory environment would include realistic operational equipment such as appropriate ATC stations and flight-deck equipment. One important system in this environment is a realistic communication system for simulating radio communications among the controllers and pilots. In current-day operations, controllers and pilots communicate by voice over VHF radio. In the laboratory environment, this communications capability is typically provided by a dedicated communication system, which represents a cost liability in addition to the controller stations and flight-deck equipment. In addition to the acquisition cost, there is life-cycle cost associated with maintenance of the hardware as well as space requirements for the special hardware. The proposed research considers the development of two technologies to ease the cost of providing the necessary communications capability as well as the cost and inconvenience in hiring secondary SMEs to support the experiments: (i) a software-based networked communications system based on Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology that obviates the need of special hardware, and (ii) an automated speech agent that can take the place of the secondary SMEs in communicating with the primary SMEs and interacting with the operational environment.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed Networked Communications and Speech System (NCSS) has been conceived for implementation in simulation facilities within NASA for human-in-the-loop (HITL) assessment of airspace system concepts and technologies. A list of such facilities at Ames Research Center and Langley Research Center has been identified jointly by the FAA and NASA in a recently released NextGen Human Factors Research Coordinate Plan. The software-based system is expected to reduce acquisition and life-cycle costs associated with the communications equipment, and to provide additional flexibility and cost savings in performing HITL experiments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Networked Communications and Speech System (NCSS) can be adapted for other human factors simulation facilities within the FAA, as identified in the joint FAA/NASA NextGen Human Factors Research Coordinate Plan. Similar facilities in major aerospace vendors of air traffic management systems can also benefit from this technology. In addition, the NCSS will also benefit air traffic control training facilities, including the FAA Academy located at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, OK, and DoD training facilities such as the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) in Pensacola, FL.

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)
Command & Control
Man-Machine Interaction
Simulation & Modeling
Transport/Traffic Control

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43