Veracity Evaluation of non-Redundant Information in Flight sYstems (VERIFY)
Advanced Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are composed of complex systems and payloads, whose components can be generally classified as flight critical systems, mission critical systems, and auxiliary systems. Flight critical systems are often designed with redundancy, since failure could prove catastrophic. However, the size, weight, and power constraints preclude all systems from being redundant. Mixed-criticality UAV systems benefit from software components which can evaluate the likelihood that the non-redundant systems are functioning properly. We propose to develop VERIFY Evaluation of non-Redundant Information in Flight Systems (VERIFY) which produces confidence measures and warnings for non-redundant data sources with no means to directly determine when the data has been degraded. For Phase I, we will apply VERIFY methods to height-above-ground rangefinder sensing. VERIFY begins with statistical hypothesis testing, developing statistical models from data and assuring that observed trends continue. The secondary level fuses data from critical system states and the mission definition (which both can are assumed accurate) to observe data correlation, yielding higher fidelity confidence measures. The highest tier which could be implemented for some missions (and in future Phases) closes the loop with VERIFY and the critical systems to allow system excitation for failure detection and identification. BENEFIT: The benefits of a modular integrity management system such as VERIFY are tremendous, since unmanned systems are taking a greater role in Air Force and military mission plans. Autonomous systems such as UAVs, USVs and UGVs will likely utilize new data sources that are mission critical, and they must be capable of decision-making, self-determination and self-assessment. For non-redundant systems, the ramifications of degraded performance or failure do not justify the additional weight or design cost in increasing the subsystem redundancy and robustness. Autonomous systems could use VERIFY to determine the failure status of non-redundant data systems, and integrate them to highly critical and redundant flight control systems. Mixed-criticality UAV systems benefit from software components which can evaluate the likelihood that the non-redundant systems are functioning properly. VERIFY produces confidence measures and warnings for non-redundant data sources that do not have means to directly determine when the data has been degraded. In addition to military applications, automobile industry can hugely benefit from such technology. Future automobiles will be equipped with sensors that provide situational awareness to drivers such as front and rear collision sensors. Such capabilities typically require single thread sensing elements that are utilized as input to a critical system such as the breaking system.
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Scientific Systems Company, Inc
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