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NASA's Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Project Performs Hazard Perception and Avoidance Simulations in Build-Up to Flight Test
(Sep 30, 2022)
Due to the increasing complexity of new aircraft and civil airspace, the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project assigned the Human Autonomy Teaming (HAT) Lab as the Hazard Perception and Avoidance (HPA) research group for the Automated Flight and Contingency Management (AFCM) Subproject. This effort examines techniques and technologies that remediate tactical deconfliction hazards that crewed aircraft can encounter in next-generation flight zones. Examples of these technologies are automated contingency maneuvers that are performed by onboard avionics as well as the use of deconfliction tools such as the rotorcraft variant of the FAA's Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS Xr).

The HAT Lab began an exploratory examination of these capabilities by conducting the Part Task 1 Human-In-The-Loop (HITL) simulation in April 2022 at the NASA Ames Research Center. This simulation exposed pilot participants to ACAS Xr's alerting and guidance. It also allowed them to experience automation-managed, contingency and return to course maneuvers during a cruise phase of flight.

Information from this study guided the parameters for the first Assured Vehicle Automation (AVA) and HPA, or the AVA-1h, simulation that was carried out in August 2022 at the Ames Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS). In addition to higher fidelity, like the inclusion of motion, weather, turbulence, and terrain awareness, the VMS allowed the HAT Lab to introduce different types of ACAS Xr notifications and additional phases of flight like hovers and landing pad approaches. The data from both projects will inspire additional simulations and flight tests, which will contribute to the safety, efficiency, and scalability of new types of vehicles and urban flights.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: September 11, 2023