TC4: System Integration

Proper integration of the emerging secure and safe autonomy algorithms into practical flight software is challenging. Moreover, experimenting the developed algorithms in different environments (dynamic simulation system, small-scale Indoor Flight Facility (IFF), and large-scale Outdoor Flight Facility (OFF)) and performing different missions (with dependency analytics, integrated simulation (SIM), and experimental flight tests through fast learning cycles) is required to guarantee the correctness of the UAM network.

Urgent Need for System Integration

TC4 will create methods to integrate secure and safe autonomy algorithms and software (developed in TC1 and TC2, and validated in TC3) into UAM platforms and networks via experimentation in a dynamic virtual simulation environment (SIM) and two physical environments (a small-scale Indoor Flight Facility (IFF), and a large-scale Outdoor Flight Field (OFF)). These environments represent an ecosystem to examine integrated elements of a UAM network together in the context of various long-term missions involving many vehicles in a complex environment. A set of performance metrics will be established to provide a means to assess maturity of different algorithm configurations and to compare them with the baseline autonomy algorithms. Team members from TC1, TC2, and TC3 will engage with these environments, both in the early stages and during the program, to enable rapid learning and evolution of safe and secure algorithms for the UTM application. TC4 activities will provide continuous feedback to TC1-TC3 innovators on the merits of their concepts and the best opportunities for transitions to practice with industry partners to realize mobility and economic benefits

The challenges of TC4 will be addressed through the following objectives

  • (Objective I) System Integration Methods
  • (Objective II) Secure Autonomy Integration and Experimentation
  • (Objective III) Safe Autonomy Integration and Experimentation

Transition Opportunities to Industry and Government Labs

The system integration strategy, algorithms for perception, autonomous control, navigation, V&V, and experimental testbeds will all be especially enhanced by funded partners Aurora Flight Sciences and Alaka’i Technologies. These partnerships will provide testing platforms that support the regulatory and policy transitions of safe and secure assured autonomy applications to the industry. The transition requires evidence from flight experiments to justify transition. Our research team will work closely with the Subject Matter Experts (SME) from our four industry partners and NASA to seek both commercialization and regulatory advisory consultation. Northrop Grumman Corporation will advise the team regarding experimentation and learning in virtual and physical environments. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will provide support by presenting real-world use cases for evaluating integrated assured autonomy .