SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N07-009 (Navy)
Title:  Modeling Algorithms for Unmanned Aircraft/Weapons Management Systems
Research & Technical Areas:  Information Systems, Sensors, Weapons

Acquisition Program:  Firescout/ACAT I
 RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN NATIONALS: 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 nationals 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 national who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal may be rejected.
  Objective:  Research and demonstrate innovative modeling algorithms for the embedded real-time and safety critical processes of an aircraft/weapons control system to enable more rapid and less expensive integration of new systems or components.
  Description:  Emerging modeling languages such as the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL) offer the promise of being able to accomplish accurate modeling of hardware and software components and their interaction as a system. Unmanned Air Systems (UASs) are being increasingly looked upon not just as remote sensors, but also as weapons platforms. Weapons control from unmanned air platforms requires an extreme degree of confidence in the aircraft weapons control systems when prosecuting targets with strict rules of engagement and when returning with weapons to the ship. Warfighters will not engage targets nor allow the return of weapons to the ship unless the weapons control system is highly reliable and effective. Therefore real-time, safety critical systems are required to be highly reliable, and this must be effectively demonstrated during the early stages of development to engender warfighter confidence that the system will not introduce errors and risks. These demonstrations add significantly to the costs of development and integration of additional payloads. Payload intensive platforms that include sensors, weapons and communications, such as UASs, should benefit significantly from demonstration that the modeling algorithms are effective in a system of systems that includes hardware and software, modeling algorithms and real-time communications. Technical challenges to over come will be scheduling and timing issues, which cause processor freezes and shutdowns. The timing issues are especially important given the latency associated with command and control of UASs. Using these emerging technologies to develop modeling algorithms that optimize and manage the real-time and safety critical systems on board an aircraft will increased warfighter confidence and reduce acquisition and integration costs. As a result UASs will gain acceptance when strict rules of engagement (ROE) are employed, the integration and acquisition times will be more controllable, and the UASs will be more adaptable to meeting changing threats and ROE.

  PHASE I: Research and determine the feasibility of using the emerging modeling languages such as AADL for developing modeling algorithms of real-time and safety critical systems in manned or unmanned aircraft. Determine the baseline requirements for these algorithms and the potential confidence level of repeatable results.
  PHASE II: Develop a prototype of an executable system architecture model of the real-time and safety critical systems. Using the algorithms, demonstrate the impact on the real-time systems due to the integration of a candidate weapons system and demonstrate how the model can be modified for other systems. Demonstrate the models in a system of systems environment using air platform, communications and weapons control models.

  PHASE III: Develop an executable system architecture model to include all of the real-time and safety critical systems found on a Fire Scout. Characterize the performance and extensibility of the model. Develop an application program interface for the architecture to ensure that third party vendors could easily integrate new subsystems into the Fire Scout because the model would describe all the necessary characteristics. Demonstrate the effectiveness in flight test operations.

  PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: UASs are increasingly being used in commercial applications. The ability to model new components being integrated onto the UAS would save a considerable amount of development time and qualification time with the FAA or CAA. If taken to its conclusion, this SBIR will provide validation to commercial manufacturers of the capability of this modeling technique. The benefits to a commercial company include enabling a highly reliable, timelier and cheaper integration period for modifying processors with repeatable results. Impacts on scheduling and latency issues can be assessed with these models as equipment is modified to account for obsolescence, technology insertions, and capability upgrades on unmanned and manned commercial aircraft.

  References:  1. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aerospace Standard (AS) 5506, Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL), November 2004 available at 2. Tutorials, Open Source AADL Tool Environment, and other relevant information available at:

Keywords:  Weapon System; Targeting Sensors; Software Integration; Modeling and Simulation; Real-Time Avionics, Architecture Analysis Description Languages

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