Applying Advanced Human Engineering Methods to Mission Planning for Multi-Manned or Unmanned Air Vehicles
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-019
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-019 TITLE: Applying Advanced Human Engineering Methods to Mission Planning for Multi-Manned or Unmanned Air Vehicles

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Information Systems, Human Systems


RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an advanced human engineering based interface for multiple manned or unmanned aircraft mission planning.

DESCRIPTION: Currently, the mission planning process is labor and time intensive, complicated, and requires considerable training and proficiency. Nearly every aircraft requires a digital mission plan to be completed prior to being able to launch. Additionally, prior to being able to deviate from an existing plan, long range unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms require a completed and validated plan to be authorized to deviate from the existing route. This can have serious impact to the ability of a vehicle to prosecute time critical popup targets that require anything more than a minor change to the approved route. This is due in large part to the time required to generate an approved/validated delta plan.

New innovative human factors workflows and visualizations as well as significantly improved data handling algorithms are needed to bring mission planning into a near real time process. Current planning algorithms and processes are based on single vehicle planning from the late Vietnam War era. Joint Task Force integration of Naval assets require an integrated planning environment that allows for quick assimilation of tasking and constraints while allowing automated algorithms to complete repetitive labor intensive processes. Innovative workflows are needed to allow operators to tailor specific planning processes to optimize their output for the time and materials required (e.g. manned-unmanned integrated search and rescue effort vs a 50 nm deviation from an existing 12 hour surveillance mission).

Particular focus of the development is to create an innovative user interface to guide mission planners in a streamlined approach through highly complex and detailed mission planning procedures. The development must address human factors engineering to effectively simplify data entry and uploading process through intuitive human-computer interactions and visualization techniques. Any proposed planning method/technique should be highly adaptive to accommodate mission planning for new and enhanced weapon systems and platforms.

PHASE I: Develop and determine feasibility of a design for the above that shows the simplification of mission planning and provides an innovative approach to visualization of information.

PHASE II: Implement the conceptual design in software and demonstrate in a prototype system.

PHASE III: Integrate software into the Joint Mission Planning System and transition onto appropriate platforms.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Flight planning systems for private pilots and airlines.

1. Menner, W. A. (1997). The Navy's Tactical Aircraft Strike Planning Process. Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, 18(1), 90-104.

2. Damilano L., Guglieri G., Quagliotti F., Sale I., Lunghi A. (2013). Ground Control Station Embedded Mission Planning for UAS. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 69(1-4), 241-256.

3. Boukhtouta A., Bedrouni A., Berger J., Bouak F., Guitouni A. (2004). A Survey of Military Planning Systems. Paper presented at 9th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposia (ICCRTS), Copenhagen, September 14-16, 2004. Retrieved from ICCRTS/ CD/papers/096.pdf

KEYWORDS: Mission Planning; Aircraft; Human Computer Interface; Visualization Techniques; Joint Mission Planning System; Data Transfer

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