“Part of the test here was not only how well the algorithms work, but us validating our capabilities,” says Frank Jones, the LD-CAP deployment lead for NASA Langley.
Complexity will be increased during flight tests planned for June 2013 in North Dakota, with plans for new algorithms that will handle multiple intruder aircraft and noncooperative targets tracked by primary radar, as well as a flexible task automation “super app” developed by Draper.
The super application is based on Draper's Timeliner engine, originally developed in 1981 and now used, among other tasks, for control and sequencing of International Space Station payload bay experiments and control moment gyros. When installed on the Cirrus, the super app will allow multiple algorithms from multiple providers to run in parallel, with Timeliner making command-level decisions based on user-defined parameters. For example, a variety of SAA apps can be running simultaneously with terrain and weather avoidance apps to determine the safest vehicle path with many constraints.
Draper plans to test the algorithms on Mitre's “fast-time” simulator later this year, followed by integration onto the SR22 for the demonstrations in North Dakota in June.