Smart Avionics Systems Environment for Automatic Test Systems

Navy SBIR 22.1 - Topic N221-018
NAVAIR - Naval Air Systems Command
Opens: January 12, 2022 - Closes: February 10, 2022 (12:00pm est)

N221-018 TITLE: Smart Avionics Systems Environment for Automatic Test Systems

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems

OBJECTIVE: Identify, characterize, and standardize the use of smart avionics systemsí data-driven capabilities. Leverage Units Under Test (UUTs) health, environment, and performance data collection capabilities of these systems. Develop innovative technologies to streamline adoption of condition-based and predictive maintenance techniques in Test Program Sets (TPSs).

DESCRIPTION: Naval aviation maintenance is shifting course from reactive maintenance (after component failure) and is preparing to adopt new maintenance strategies that rely upon Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) and Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) techniques. Recently, new technologies have allowed for avionics systems to collect "Smart" data related to system health, performance, and environmental factors. This will allow for advanced automated analyses to better diagnose avionics systems, and even help predict failures, and provide preventative maintenance actions before the system actually fails. These maintenance strategies require monitoring, managing, and predicting the condition of avionics systems to enable informed action by maintenance staff. Efficient diagnostics and repairs serve to avoid disruptions in flight operations due to equipment downtime.

The primary impacts of the implementation of the proposed technology would be reduced cost of avionics maintenance and increased availability of aircraft platforms. Transitioning to CBM/PHM strategies requires the integration and application of smart avionics systems health, environment, and performance data into the naval enterprise sustainment operations, spanning Automated Logistics Environment (ALE), Automatic Test Equipment (ATE), and TPS usage. Characterizing the data collection capability of smart aircraft systems (components with embedded computer systems to collect and interpret system data) will facilitate this integration and application, but no standard format currently exists for the compilation of all available data.

Further technology development must enable the use of such a standardized data set to inform diagnostics and repair of avionics modules and components. Current maintenance methodologies (as defined in the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program COMNAVAIRFORINST 4790.2 [Ref 4]) and environments do not provide the flexibility and interoperability to implement new techniques and industry standards for characterizing design-time and run-time data specification and information exchange. Therefore, in order to address these shortfalls, the Navy is seeking innovative technologies and application development methodologies through this topic.

The advanced technologies and techniques implementing the smart avionics systems environment should be based on open standards and support both legacy and new naval aviation weapon systems and Automatic Test Systems (ATS). In addition, through the use of open system standards that have been developed and are currently being developed, the resulting environment and tools should be more easily transported to the electronics maintenance environments of other Military Services.

PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of developing innovative software technologies, methodologies, and tools for health, environment, and performance data sharing between weapon system UUTs and ATS systems to enable improvements in weapon system availability, and advance the application of smart systems capabilities and open standards. Develop a plan for integrating the advanced technologies, tools, and methodologies required to achieve the stated objective. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: Build and integrate a prototype environment to validate the technology and characterization methodology. Work with Navy to produce, test, and demonstrate a new capability that satisfies the objectives of this topic.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Build, certify, and deploy a production toolset at a Navy organization. Commercialize the resulting technology.

There is significant potential for commercialization of the technology. For example, the technology can be applied in other Defense and commercial industries where failures in critical assets have a great economic or safety impact (e.g., automotive, aviation, or power). Similar to naval aviation, the health, environment, and performance data for the assets in these other areas are being integrated and are moving more toward CBM and PHM concepts.


  1. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. (2020, August 14). DoD Instruction 4151.22 Condition-based maintenance plus for materiel maintenance. Department of Defense.
  2. Automatic Test Systems Executive Directorate. (2017). DOD Automatic Test Systems Master Plan 2017. Department of Defense.
  3. Prognostics and Health Management Working Group. (2017, December 13). IEEE Std 1856™-2017: IEEE Standard Framework for Prognostics and Health Management of Electronic Systems. IEEE.
  4. NAVAIR. (2021, February 01). Naval Aviation Maintenance Program COMNAVAIRFORINST 4790.2D.

KEYWORDS: Automatic Test Equipment; Condition-Based Maintenance; Prognostics; Avionics Maintenance; Health Management; Diagnostics


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its 22.1 SBIR BAA pre-release on December 1, 2021, which opens to receive proposals on January 12, 2022, and closes February 10, 2022 (12:00pm est).

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