Runtime Assurance for Flight Test Research Aircraft

Period of Performance: 06/10/2016 - 12/09/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Barron Assoc., Inc.
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Barron Associates proposes to develop a runtime assurance (RTA) system that provides in-flight protection to research aircraft that are flight testing advanced or experimental controllers. The RTA system monitors key critical parameters to determine if errors in the experimental controller are potentially driving the vehicle to unsafe flight conditions. If such conditions are ensuing, the RTA system activates mitigation strategies to bring the aircraft back to a safe state. The main efforts in Phase I are: (1) develop the RTA system in a desktop simulation environment using a challenge problem with a specific advanced control system applied to a specific flight test vehicle that is of interest to NASA Armstrong, (2) integrate the RTA system into a NASA flight test experiment processing environment, (3) generalize the RTA design approach, and (4) prepare for SUAS Phase II flight tests by designing a flight test article and flight test experiment plan. The unmanned, small scale Phase II flight test will lay the groundwork for larger scale Phase III flight test in manned aircraft at NASA or other test facilities.