NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 A3.03-8644
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Future Aviation Systems Safety
PROPOSAL TITLE: Vision-Based Automation System for Safe and Efficient Taxi Operations

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Optimal Synthesis, Inc.
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Victor Cheng
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585 Extension :111

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Victor Cheng
95 First Street, Suite 240
Los Altos, CA 94022 - 2777
(650) 559-8585 Extension :111

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Future Aviation Systems Safety 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)
In 2012 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), recommending certain anti-collision aids for large airplane models. These communications referenced investigations of accidents that occurred during taxi when a large airplane?s wingtip collided with another airplane or object on the taxiway. In all of the accidents referenced, the pilots of the large airplanes were either unable to determine or had difficulty determining the separation between the airplane?s wingtips and the other airplane or object while taxiing. Typically, pilots look out the cockpit window at the wingtips to determine wingtip path and clearance, but on large airplanes the pilot cannot see the airplane?s wingtips from the cockpit unless the pilot opens the cockpit window and extends his or her head out of the window, which is often impractical. Certain aircraft have cameras to aid taxi operations, but the cameras? view did not include the wing tips. NTSB recommended the installation of an anti-collision aid, such as a camera system, on all newly manufactured and newly type-certificated large airplanes, and existing large airplanes to be retrofitted with a similar anti-collision aid. In view of the recommended camera systems, additional automation is proposed that will take advantage of such sensors to further enhance the safety and efficiency of taxi operations, beyond that made possible by the sensors alone. The envisioned vision-based automation system will provide benefit in three applications: (i) to provide automated collision detection and avoidance for enhanced safety during taxi; (ii) to provide vision-based navigation for enhanced situation awareness during taxi operations; and (iii) to aid in autonomous taxi capabilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed vision-based automation system for taxi operations align with multiple strategic thrusts of the NASA Aeronautics Strategic Implementation Plan. For ARMD Strategic Thrust 1 on Safe, Efficient Growth in Global Operations, the proposed technology will contribute towards NextGen operational performance, surface operations to realize Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO), and autonomous trajectory services. For ARMD Strategic Thrust 5 on Real-time System-Wide Safety Assurance, the technology will contribute towards improved safety through real-time detection and alerting of hazards, and human-automation teaming for optimum threat management. Finally, for ARMD Strategic Thrust 6 on Assured Autonomy for Aviation Transformation, the automation technology will contribute towards the candidate mission products of autonomous airport surface operations, autonomy-enhanced vehicle safety, and fully autonomous transport aircraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the near term, the envisioned technologies will improve safety during taxi operations, with collision detection and avoidance capabilities that will benefit manufacturers of large airplanes. In the U.S., these include primarily Boeing for commercial transport aircraft, joined by Lockheed Martin when military transports are considered. In the far term, the envisioned automation technologies provide additional navigation data based on recognition of airport signage and airfield features that will improve situation awareness of the flight crew. Another set of technologies will enable autonomous taxi operations to realize Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO). These automation technologies will be of interest to avionics manufacturers such as Honeywell and Rockwell Collins, and air carriers in general.

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Command & Control
Image Analysis
Image Processing
Man-Machine Interaction
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59