NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 A2.01-9248
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration in the National Airspace System (NAS) Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: Intelligent Autonomous Aerial Vehicles in the National Airspace

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Near Earth Autonomy, Inc.
5001 Baum Boulevard, Suite 750
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 - 1856
(412) 254-3542

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sanjiv Singh
5001 Baum Blvd. Suite 750
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 - 1856
(412) 855-3675

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Marcel Bergerman
5001 Baum Blvd. Suite 750
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 - 1856
(412) 513-6110

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration in the National Airspace System (NAS) Research is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and, in particular, intelligent, autonomous aircraft operating in the National Airspace (NAS) have the potential to significantly impact modern society. They could perform difficult and dangerous tasks such as fire fighting, border patrol, and search and rescue, and dull tasks such as surveying crops. The elimination of a cockpit and the pilots makes UAS operation attractive from an economic standpoint. In addition, much of the technology used for autonomy could benefit manned flight as a pilot's aid to help in tasks such as landing on an oilrig in the high seas. Open questions remain, however, about how unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles can be safely incorporated into the NAS. UAS's operating in the NAS must sense and avoid other vehicles, follow air traffic commands, avoid the terrain and land without operator intervention, react to contingencies, and be reliable and cost-effective.

The current approach for UAS integration relies on radio links and the operator's acuity to direct them. Lost links, however, are unavoidable. UAS's must have the capability to make their own decisions based on information available via databases and information discovered by onboard sensors. Near Earth Autonomy proposes to develop technologies and capabilities leading to fully autonomous systems that are able to discover and adapt to unpredicted changes in their environment, and yet still accomplish the mission, with minimal or no human involvement. The proposal focuses on developing autonomy in the form of sensors and computer software that will enable UAS's of the future to operate safely in the NAS. Additionally, the proposal addresses how the technical challenges can be met and how the technology developed can be shown to be both trustworthy and commercially viable for general aviation. This is aligned with NASA's current initiative for safe integration of UASs in the national airspace led by Langley Research Center.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NEA envisions the initial NASA market to be primarily units for testing and validation at both the system level and at the air vehicle level. The autonomous capabilities that NEA proposes will contribute to NASA's testing and validation of the technologies and concepts for UAS operations in the NAS. Additionally, NEA's autonomous technology will provide an enhanced capability, enabling UAS more comprehensive flight-testing, for NASA's collaborative efforts with the FAA to accommodate UAS operations in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). As the autonomous flight capabilities mature and are integrated into air vehicles, they will be of direct use to NASA in their flight testing of ground-based air navigational aids and guidance systems located in remote areas, such as Antarctica. NEA's autonomous technology will enable greater utilization of UAS in other NASA areas, particularly for experimentation and testing in the various research centers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Government agencies, both military and civilian, will comprise a much larger market for the technology. The commercial sector will eventually be the largest market sector. A recent market analysis in Composites World magazine, drawing on work from both the Teal Group and AUVSI, indicates a global military market of approximately 57,000 UAS, with about 19,000 for the US military services–primarily in the reconnaissance and attack configurations, with growing utilization of utility and cargo configurations. Additionally, the analysis forecasts a commercial market of as many as 160,000 air vehicles, most of which would be in the public safety and precision agriculture segments. But there will be growth into numerous other areas that are now serviced by piloted aircraft.

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.)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37