NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 A2.02-7580
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Autonomous Contingency Detection and Reaction for Unmanned Aircraft

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) 513-6110

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kyle Strabala
5001 Baum Blvd Ste 750
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 - 1856
(412) 621-4300

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

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

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)
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operating in the national airspace system (NAS) have the potential to significantly impact modern society. It is now common to consider UAS for difficult and dangerous tasks such as fire fighting and dull tasks such as surveying crops. In addition, the autonomous elements from such UAS are being considered as a means to provide safe personal aviation. Open questions remain, however, about how unmanned autonomous aircraft can be safely incorporated into the NAS. UAS operating in the NAS must (1) sense and avoid other vehicles and follow air traffic commands, (2) avoid the terrain and land safely without operator intervention, (3) react to contingencies such as engine-out and lost-link scenarios, and (4) be reliable (by FAA airworthiness standards) and cost-effective. The current approach for UAS integration relies on radio links and the operator's acuity to direct them safely. Lost links, however, are unavoidable. UAS must have the capability to make their own decisions based on information available via databases and any information discovered by onboard sensors. This is especially the case for rare events such as the failure of propulsion or safety sensing.

Near Earth Autonomy proposes to develop technologies and capabilities leading to fully autonomous systems that are able to discover and safely adapt to rare events in their environment with minimal or no human involvement. This proposal focuses on developing an Autonomous Contingency System in the form of sensors and computer software that will enable UAS of the future to be operable 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.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The initial application for NASA-relevant missions will be to assist with the Mobility on Demand initiative and with the UAS Traffic Management programs resident at Langley and at Ames Research Center. Both of these activities are investigating technologies relevant to incorporation of UAS in the National Air Space. A successful outcome will be very useful concerning roadmaps and policy recommendations to the FAA.

Near Earth Autonomy envisions another NASA market to be primarily units for testing and validation at both the system level and at the aircraft level. The autonomous capabilities that Near Earth proposes will contribute to NASA's testing and validation of the technologies and concepts for UAS operations in the NAS especially given the focus on "on demand mobility." Additionally, Near Earth's autonomous technology will provide an enhanced capability, enabling more comprehensive UAS flight testing for NASA's collaborative efforts with the FAA to accommodate UAS operation in the Next Generation Air Transportation System. As the autonomous flight capabilities mature and are integrated into aircraft, 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. Near Earth's autonomous technology will enable greater utilization of UAS in other NASA areas, particularly for experimentation and testing in NASA's various research centers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We see a large number of military and commercial applications that could benefit from tools for Contingency Management. Specifically we anticipate a global military market of 57,000 unmanned aircraft--primarily in the reconnaissance and attack configurations, with growing utilization of utility and cargo configurations. On the commercial side, our analysis forecasts a market of 160,000 unmanned aircraft, most of which would be in the public safety and precision agriculture segments. Finally, the recent analysis from Uber points to a compelling market case for "flying taxis" to transport people in small self piloted aircraft in busy urban settings. We expect that our technology will be very relevant to such application.

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

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43