Mosaic ATM is pleased to announce that we’re kicking off a new NASA Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project!

NASA’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and UAS Traffic Management (UTM) concepts envision increasing autonomy, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to maintain operational efficiency while ensuring safety. Increasing autonomy while maintaining or improving efficiency and safety will require effective teaming between humans and automation in routine and contingency operations.

Concepts for highly automated future air transportation, like UAM and UTM, describe procedures for addressing such contingencies. Many of these procedures implicitly assume that automated services will be able to coordinate well enough to address contingencies, with little or no human input, if procedures are pre-defined. However, if traditional air traffic operations are to be a guide, humans will need to be involved in coordinated contingency planning for UAM/UTM operations.

To address the need for coordinated contingency planning in UAM/UTM, Mosaic ATM will work on a Contingency Planning Toolkit for Advanced Air Mobility (CPT AAMO), whose architecture appropriately distributes work among system organizations and agents (human and automated). It will examine assumptions inherent in NASA’s UAM and UTM concepts for highly automated contingency management.

The tool’s design is based on a systematic analysis of potential allocations of contingency planning functions. The analysis is not just about allocating functions between humans and automation, but also the allocation of responsibilities across organizations in the system. Mosaic ATM’s approach allows NASA to move beyond function allocation to task design, providing a systematic assessment of what will and will not work as a procedure/task.

The Phase I of this effort fills a gap in AAM concept development, providing appropriate architectures and function allocations for contingency planning in a highly automated system.

The long-term goal of this project is to develop a tool that will support the human actors involved in contingency planning, helping them understand when they may be required to intervene in automated activities so they can plan accordingly.

Principal Analysts Stuart Wilson and Alicia Fernandes are representing the Mosaic ATM portion of the project team in collaboration with Assistant Professor Martijn Ijtsma of The Ohio State University. We very much look forward to working together on this project and are proud of our team for their efforts so far.

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