NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 A2.02-8360
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adaptive Aerospace Group, Inc.
100 Exploration Way, Suite 330
Hampton, VA 23666 - 6266
(757) 941-4921

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sally Johnson
100 Exploration Way, Suite 330
Hampton, VA 23666 - 6266
(757) 593-3236

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Melissa Proffitt
100 Exploration Way, Suite 330
Hampton, VA 23666 - 6266
(757) 377-4201

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)
Our team is proposing to develop a high-integrity flight management system and multi-UAS ground control station (GCS) called the Safe Autonomy Flexible Innovation Testbed (SAFITTM) for safe operation of multiple fixed-wing UAS across a wide range of missions, including Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations. The onboard flight management system will include: Onboard autonomous traffic and obstacle avoidance, geospatial containment, and flight envelope protection; Waypoint route-following, using preplanned route or waypoints produced in real-time by an onboard application or from ground control station; Direct control inputs from an onboard application or manual control from the ground control station.
Traffic and obstacle avoidance and geospatial containment will be based on publicly available ICAROUS software developed by NASA Langley's formal methods team. Formal methods will be applied to core safety elements, including high-level formal specification and verification of accordance with key safety properties.

AAG's key strengths in flight dynamics and UAS separation assurance, combined with NIA's formal methods experience make our team uniquely suited to perform this effort. Phase I will show technical feasibility and demonstrate verification/certification feasibility of applying formal methods combined with extensive testing, through meeting the following objectives: Generate high-level architecture and verification/certification strategy; Demonstrate feasibility of applying formal methods by proving the high-level specification meets a limited set of safety properties; Create a prototype implementation of the flight management system and limited GCS and demonstrate in simulation and in flight; Create a simulation prototype of an advanced multi-UAS GCS; Develop commercialization plan.
In a follow-on Phase II effort, AAG and NIA plan to focus on completing development and verification of SAFITTM and collecting artifacts to support future certification.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SAFITTM concept was originally developed as a research testing platform to support NASA's future research in autonomous systems. A high-integrity version of SAFITTM would provide a much more robust and reliable platform, allowing safe flight testing of unproven test systems, including high-integrity traffic and obstacle avoidance and geospatial containment. The advanced ground control station supports NASA's research into single operators safely and effectively managing multiple UAS as well as research into how multiple autonomous UAS can cooperatively work together on missions, with SAFITTM protections providing separation assurance between the multiple UAS so that functionality does not have to be incorporated into the test software.

AAG believes that there is a significant commercial market for our product, and the reuse of NASA's ICAROUS software and the further application of formal methods are thus a valuable commercial spinoff from NASA's research, demonstrating the practical application of NASA's research to solve real-world problems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is high commercial potential for high-integrity SAFITTM from research institutions, commercial UAS manufacturers, and companies that wish to utilize UAS in their routine business operations because current UAS flight management systems are typically of limited reliability. Our multi-UAS ground control station enables a wide variety of missions that are of interest in the commercial community. There is also a commercial market for our high-integrity core functionality as a closed core into which other software developers could add open-source functions, with our core system effectively bounding the behavior of any software added by third parties.

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)
Analytical Methods
Attitude Determination & Control
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Recovery (see also Vehicle Health Management)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59