NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 A3.02-8237
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomy of the National Airspace Systems (NAS)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Innovation in the Sky

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Higher Ground
2225 East Bayshore Road, Suite 2
Palo Alto, CA 94303 - 9430
(650) 322-3958

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rob Reis
2225 East Bayshore Road, Suite 2
Palo Alto, CA 94303 - 9430
(650) 322-3958

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rob Reis
2225 East Bayshore Road, Suite 2
Palo Alto, CA 94303 - 9430
(650) 322-3958

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Autonomy of the National Airspace Systems (NAS) 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)
This Phase II proposal presents a scope of work to develop reliable Sense and Avoid for BVLOS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle [UAV] operations.

We first analyze a) the requirement for avoidance based on the UAV's ability to get away from danger and b) the suite of candidate technologies needed to detect intruders with ample time to get away. To meet this need we will build a reliable FINE TRACKING sensor for knowing where nearby objects are located and an EARLY WARNING sensor for the region outside the coverage of the Fine Tracker.

The first step is to substantially improve the candidate sensor technologies [radar, LiDAR and V2V] for our specific requirements. This is because the individual technologies have typically been designed for other markets and on their own will not solve Sense and Avoid. But the combination of our improvements to these three technologies along with smart data fusion will provide meaningful Early Warning and Fine Tracking of any likely intruders.

We will then run experiments to verify that we can reliably detect and then avoid our two most challenging targets; namely power lines and toy drones. We will then report on our results and provide recommendations for commercialization.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many Government applications: The most immediate one is to do work with the Department of Homeland Security to provide UAV border surveillance along the US/Mexico border. This suggested solution will use a fleet of small UAVs flying autonomously back and forth between recharge stations to provide meaningful and accurate intelligence of border intrusion. Then, high resolution photos collected by the smart UAV would be sent via our satellites to DHS agents in a remote command facility who will then decide on the level and type of engagement.

In addition to border security, this sense and avoid technology can be used to a) permit safe flight for NOAA surveillance of US waterways and landmass; b) help execute search and rescue missions for the US Coast Guard via UAVs and c) support the Department of Transportation to do long range inspection of the country's infrastructure.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The utility inspection problem for oil, gas and electric companies is also a big opportunity for small UAV flight. In this problem, the UAV would fly tens of miles along utility and gas lines looking for places of encroachment and/or maintenance issues. Encroachment occurs when non-suspecting organizations build and/or modify [i.e. dig] the land near these lines which could cause some danger. Maintenance issues are due to the common aging of outdoor elements.

In both the Government application and the commercial application, the problem that we are solving is long distance inspection in which the UAV is smart enough to fly autonomously, not hit anything and offer surveillance. Also, in both cases the customer will desire imagery that is then sent back to a command site for human analysis. Our technology, along those developed in this project, will offer the first equipment to achieve this affordably.

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)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Data Fusion
GPS/Radiometric (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43