Tactile Situational Awareness System (TSAS)
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
The technical problem being addressed by Chesapeake Technology International (CTI) for this Phase 2 SBIR is to provide a helicopter (or fixed wing) pilot with a tactile (touch feeling) situational awareness (SA) system during periods of high mission tasking (landing or hovering) and low visibility (night, poor weather, brown-out due to debris blow-up). Helicopter pilots have a unique scan requirement complexity that is not required for fixed wing pilots. In VFR (Visual Flight Rules) conditions, when close to the ground during the landing or hover phases of a mission, a helicopter pilot's scan is made up of three components: front (visible horizon), lateral (obstacles), and down (landing zone). If visibility is degraded (night or IFR conditions), add into his scan an instrument scan that has been developed by and for fixed wing aircraft that lacks the precise visual cues needed for low speed, hovering , and landing. During periods of high stress, if you take away any of the helicopter pilot's comfort areas (visual horizon, where the obstacles are, or where the ground is); he is left in a potentially dangerous situation. TSAS will augment the visual instruments during these critical low visibility scenarios and restore helicopter pilot cues for low speed, hovering, and landing. TSAS will provide the pilot with a tactile SA system that will indicate to the pilot when he/she is entering into a potentially dangerous hover or up-and-away situation. This will be done by sending signals to "tactors" that will encircle the pilot's torso in an air conditioned vest that will be worn outside flight suit clothing and under survival equipment. With this Phase 2 SBIR, CTI will leverage the concepts developed in the Phase 1 SBIR and by the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL) for the development of a prototype Tactile Display Processor (TDP) and Tactile Display System (TDS) which will be tested and demonstrated within a commercial helicopter environment. The focus of this Phase 2 SBIR is to develop the prototype system that will be used as the baseline configuration for a production system in commercial and Navy/USMC helicopters. Additionally, CTI will integrate a prototype TSAS system into the Manned Flight Simulator located at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.
Small Business Information at Submission:
CHESAPEAKE TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL CORP
44427 Airport Road, Suite 100 California, MD 20619
Number of Employees: