NASA SBIR 2018-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-2- A1.06-1842
 Vertical Lift Technology and Urban Air Mobility
 Auralization of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) in Urban Environments
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Great Lakes Sound & Vibration, Inc
47140 North Main Street
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 482-7535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kevin Nelson
47140 North Main Street
Houghton, MI 49931 - 9755
(906) 482-7535

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven Mattson
47140 N Main St.
Houghton, MI 49931 - 9755
(906) 482-7535

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

GLSV proposes building a fully featured NASA Auralization Framework (NAF) plug-in which uses acoustic ray tracing techniques in order to fill this need.  GLSV has determined that acoustic ray tracing is the best choice for a technology which can provide a reasonable fidelity model which can be solved over length scales seen in urban environments.

The proposed software is in response to NASA’s Vertical Lift Technology and Urban Air Mobility subtopic, which is primarily interested in innovative technologies focused on passenger-carrying UAM vehicles that include development and demonstration of technologies for vertical lift UAM vehicle airframes and propulsion systems, including validated modeling and analysis tools and prototype demonstrations, that show benefits in terms of operating cost, noise, safety, weight, efficiency, emissions, fuel consumption, and/or reliability based on the vehicle mission, operating environment, and system status.


Specifically, the proposed software is a response to the desire for “computationally efficient modeling tools capable of modeling sound propagation in an urban environment for creating auralizations of UAM vehicles”.


GLSV has proposed specific methods using ray tracing techniques to find acoustic paths from the source to the receiver which capture the following physical phenomena:


  • Specular reflection against materials with known acoustic impedances
  • Diffraction around sharp edges in the scene


From acoustic propagation theory as well as from discussing NASA’s prior experience with the NAF, GLSV has determined that capturing these effects will provide sufficient fidelity results to be useful for these new applications.



Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

The proposed technology will be applicable directly to the NASA Auralization Framework (NAF).  Per the project requirements, the deliverables of this effort will consist of software plugins to the NAF in order to enhance the accuracy of the simulated auralizations in complex urban environments.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

GLSV has determined other applications of the proposed technology outside of NASA to include software tools for noise management of vertical take of and landing (VTOL) vehicles in urban environments in the areas of flight routing, verti-port placement, regulation development and enforcement, and community acceptance.  Other applications include: military tactical mission planning and soundscaping.

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 05/13/2019 13:31:08