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Advancing Aeronautical Safety: A Review of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Research Programs D Safety R&T Challenges from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics The panels of the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics ranked the national priority of research and technology (R&T) safety challenges on a scale of 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest score.1 The 39 R&T challenges listed in Table D.1 were rated “9” for safety priority. In addition, the panels ranked each of the challenges with respect to their suitability for research by NASA. None of the safety challenges received a “9,” but many were rated “6” or higher, as shown in the table. 1 National Research Council, Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006.
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Advancing Aeronautical Safety: A Review of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Research Programs TABLE D.1 The Decadal Survey’s Top-Ranked R&T Challenges for Safety Importance (those challenges scoring a “9” for safety) (9 is highest score; 1 is lowest) R&T Challenge by Discipline/Area Suitability for NASA to Address in its R&T Programs Propulsion and Power Intelligent engines and mechanical power systems capable of self-diagnosis and reconfiguration between shop visits 6 Improved propulsion system tolerance to weather, inlet distortion, wake ingestion, bird strike, and foreign object damage 3 Materials and Structures Innovative load suppression and vibration and aeromechanical stability control 7.5 Innovative high-temperature metals and environmental coatings 7.5 Integrated vehicle health management 7 Novel coatings 6 Next-generation nondestructive evaluation 4 Aircraft hardening 4 Intelligent and Autonomous Systems, Operations and Decision-making, Human Integrated Systems, and Networking and Communications Methodologies, tools, and simulation and modeling capabilities to design and evaluate complex interactive systems 6 New concepts and methods of separating, spacing, and sequencing aircraft 6 Appropriate roles of humans and automated systems for separation assurance, including feasibility and merits of highly automated separation assurance systems 6 Affordable new sensors, system technologies, and procedures to improve the prediction and measurement of wake turbulence 6 Interfaces that assure effective information sharing and coordination among ground-based and airborne human and machine agents 6 Vulnerability analysis as an integral element in the architecture design and simulations of the air transportation system 6 Transparent and collaborative decision-support systems 6 Using operational and maintenance data to assess leading indicators of safety 6 Interfaces and procedures that support human operators ineffective task and attention management 6 Autonomous flight monitoring and manned and unmanned aircraft 6 Technologies to enable refuse-to-crash and emergency auto-land systems 6 Feasibility of deploying an affordable broad-area, precision-navigation capability compatible with international standards 4.5 Change management techniques applicable to the US air transportation system 2.5 Provably correct protocols for fault-tolerant aviation communications systems 2 Comprehensive models and standards for designing and certifying aviation networking and communications systems 2 Dynamics, Navigation, Control, and Avionics Advanced guidance systems 7.5 Aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics via closed loop flow control 7.5 Fault-tolerant and integrated vehicle health management systems 7.5 Distributed decision-making, decision making under uncertainty, and flight-path planning and prediction 6
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Advancing Aeronautical Safety: A Review of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Research Programs R&T Challenge by Discipline/Area Suitability for NASA to Address in its R&T Programs Intelligent and adaptive flight control techniques 6 Improved on-board weather systems and tools 6 Human-machine integration 6 Synthetic visions and enhanced vision systems 6 Advanced communications, navigation, and surveillance technology 4.5 Secure network-centric avionics architectures and systems to provide low cost, efficient, fault-tolerant, on-board communications systems for data link and data transfer 4.5 Safe operation of unmanned air vehicles in the national airspace 4.5 More efficient certification processes for complex systems 2 Design, development, and upgrade processes for complex, software-intensive systems, including tools for design, development, and verification and validation 1.5 Aerodynamics and Aerocoustics Aerodynamics robust to atmospheric disturbances and adverse weather conditions, including icing 4.5 Accuracy of wake vortex prediction, and vortex detection and mitigation techniques 4.5