Saab Sensis to support NASA’s aviation safety research

1 April 2013 (Last Updated April 1st, 2013 18:30)

Saab Sensis has received a contract from the NASA Aviation Safety Program (AvSP) to develop scenario-based verification and validation (V&V) methods that assist in detecting errors associated with authority and autonomy.

Saab Sensis to support NASA’s aviation safety research

Saab Sensis has received a contract from the NASA Aviation Safety Program (AvSP) to develop scenario-based verification and validation (V&V) methods that assist in detecting errors associated with authority and autonomy.

As part of the project, Saab Sensis will be responsible for creating scenarios and methods that can be deployed to validate safety in both existing and future operational concepts, mainly assessing problems related to assignments of authority to automated systems.

Saab Sensis senior vice president and general manager Ken Kaminski said that future aviation concepts, such as advanced collision avoidance and trajectory-based operations, hold great potential for improving aviation efficiency and safety, but require rigorous testing before being introduced to the US national airspace system.

"The new aviation concepts incorporate greater automation and autonomy in the systems used by pilots and air traffic controllers."

"Saab Sensis will develop new methods and scenarios that can be used by researchers to test these complex concepts with a greater degree of confidence that the concepts successfully address safety requirements," Kaminski said.

The new aviation concepts incorporate greater automation and autonomy in the systems used by pilots and air traffic controllers, unlike the conventional V&V methods that are used to assess system safety and integrity.

Saab Sensis will explore new V&V methodologies, incorporating structured input from subject matter experts, to develop enhanced methods compared to existing V&V methodologies used to assess the systems.

Aimed at reducing aviation fatalities, the $500m NASA AvSP is being implemented in collaboration with the US Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense and the aviation industry.

AvSP is mainly focussed on developing advanced, reasonable technologies that assist in improving air travel safety on commercial airliners and smaller aircraft.

The programme is seeking to develop hardware and software systems that will operate in the NextGen air traffic control system, as well as examining key challenges associated with V&V flight-critical systems.


Image: NASA's AvSP is mainly focussed on aircraft accident prevention, accident mitigation, and aviation system monitoring and modelling.