NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 A2.02-9086
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development and Flight Testing of an Automated Upset Recovery System

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)
Ms. Neha Gandhi
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901 - 2559
(434) 973-1215

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ms. Connie Hoover
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901 - 2559
(434) 973-1215

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology 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)
Loss of control (LOC) due to upset is one of the main causes of accidents in manned aircraft and is already emerging as a significant causal factor in unmanned aircraft accidents. On manned aircraft, recovery from an upset condition relies on the skill and training of an expert pilot. Due to reduced situational awareness and delays introduced by the command and control link, it is unlikely that a remote UAS operator will be able to serve this function. An advanced system capable of perception, cognition, and decision making is necessary to replace the need for an operator with upset recovery expertise and to mitigate the LOC risk on UAS. Barron Associates has recently developed a two-stage architecture that generates safe and effective recovery maneuvers for a large set of upset conditions including full stall and fully-developed spin modes. The proposed research will design an upset detection system and integrate the system with the existing two-stage recovery architecture to yield a comprehensive autonomous upset recovery system. The decision about when to activate each stage of a recovery is difficult to make at design-time due to insufficient aerodynamic data and the inability to model all of the off-nominal precipitating factors that cause upsets. The proposed upset detection system does not rely on design-time characterization; instead, a rigorous statistical testing framework combines numerous pieces of information including vehicle attitude, rotational rate, and controller performance to answer the question: Has an upset occurred? Key Phase I goals include: upset detection algorithm development, integration of upset detection with existing recovery architecture, evaluation of system performance in simulation, and real-time hardware-in-the-loop demonstration using a commercially available autopilot.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA research programs with a focus on achieving multi-vehicle operation and autonomous operation with less human oversight are application areas that directly benefit from the proposed system.The system directly addresses the Integrated Aviation Systems Program's focus area of "high level machine perception, cognition, and decision making" while also supporting the focus area of enabling "humans to operate multiple UAS with minimal oversight." Specifically, the system will enable UASs to make intelligent decisions about the safety of their current flight condition and what, if any, corrective action should be taken. This approach imparts high level perception, cognition, and decision making capabilities to the UAS reducing the need for close supervision by a human operator. In addition, considering its potential role in "reducing flight risk in areas of attitude and energy aircraft state awareness", the system also addresses the interests of the Real-Time System-Wide Safety Assurance (RSSA) research area of the Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In order to safely fulfill their rolls in government and commercial sectors, UAS will need to meet performance expectations for mission completion, reliable operation, and safe coexistence with other aircraft in the national airspace. The proposed system will address this need and increase the reliability, safety and autonomy of a UAS. Government agency UAS applications include: (1) Department of Defense military and intelligence-gathering operations, (2) FBI and local law-enforcement operations in urban areas, and (3) Department of the Interior land management oversight. In the commercial sector, applications include the use of UAS for delivery, remote inspection, and photography. The proposed system will interface with a popular open-source auto-pilot software suite providing direct access to a significant market of current SUAS users. Following successful completion of the research plan, the proposed system can be licensed to manufacturers of UAS airframes and autopilots. The proposed system can also be used to support single-pilot or remote-pilot operation of manned 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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Attitude Determination & Control
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Recovery (see also Vehicle Health Management)
Sequencing & Scheduling
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37