NASA awards SSCI contract for Collaborative Aircraft Planning System

January 22, 2009 by  

WOBURN, MA, January 22, 2009 – NASA today awarded Scientific Systems a Phase I SBIR contract to develop algorithms that could improve the safety and efficiency of the current National Airspace System by automating traffic and resource planning.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) strives to transform the existing National Airspace System (NAS) into the safest, most efficient system feasible. This proposal addresses the automated surface traffic and resource planning for the NextGen Airportal concept. Current system is primarily reliant on manual planning and human decision making with minimal computer support. The proposed Collaborative Aircraft Planning System (CAPS) will implement advanced evolutionary algorithms to achieve Airportal usage optimality in real-time while maintaining the required safety margins in aircraft separation and conflict resolution. CAPS will be designed to be flexible to accommodate future aircraft capabilities and equipage, modeling of arbitrary pre-requisite and post-requisite resource requirements, weather driven changes in Airportal constraints, and will be scalable to larger metro-plexes of multiple airportals while maintaining real-time planning capabilities. CAPS will also provide intuitive graphical operator interfaces with enhanced visualization and safety alert capabilities.

SSCI will leverage its expertise and past experience in implementing evolutionary algorithms for large planning problems in designing the CAPS software tool. Phase II will lead to a CAPS software package delivery that can be integrated with NASA’s FACET and ACES software for evaluation and demonstration.

The proposed effort directly supports the NASA Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen NGATS) and provides advanced algorithms and software tools to perform integrated NextGen Airportal traffic and resource management. Phase II deliverable software package will be designed to interface with the existing tools like FACET and ACES that NASA uses for analysis and evaluation.

FAA and other government agencies will benefit from automated Airportal resource and traffic management through improved throughput of the airports with minimal delays. Performance based automated traffic planning will also enable efficient and safe operations of diverse aircraft types including unmanned vehicles alongside commercial flights. Besides aerospace, the proposed algorithms and software can easily be generalized towards transportation, manufacturing, logistics and military resource and asset planning.

Being funded to do this work moves Scientific Systems closer to its goal of enabling intelligent autonomy for unmanned systems by developing one aspect of the “brains and nervous system” necessary for intelligent autonomy.

About Scientific Systems Company, Inc.
Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) pioneers products and technologies that provide the intelligence for unmanned ground, air and maritime vehicles to autonomously and collaboratively accomplish missions in difficult environments. A leading developer of technology solutions for defense and industrial suppliers, SSCI is one of the top 20 recipients of Small Business Innovation Research awards in the U.S. and is recognized by the U.S. Navy and Army for its record of successful technology transitions. A privately held company based in Massachusetts, SSCI collaborates with a network of defense industry prime contractors and consultants, drawing on an accumulated investment of over $150 million in advanced research and development funding.

Greg Moeller
(781) 933-5355 x295


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