NASA Armstrong Receives Two Outstanding Technology Development Awards

ADS-B for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Armstrong’s ADS-B innovation provides UAS operators with a 3-D view of collision threats, along with an operator display of real-time aircraft location-state.


Peak-Seeking Control Armstrong’s peak-seeking control technology automatically maintains formation flight to achieve fuel savings.

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer’s (FLC’s) Far West Region has bestowed its prestigious Outstanding Technology Development Award to two technologies developed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. The "Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Technology" and "A Novel Peak-Seeking Algorithm to Optimize Performance of Dynamic Systems" were deemed by FLC judges as promising technology developments to solve problems as well as satisfy markets and consumers. Both technologies are available for licensing and commercialization.


ADS-B for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

The ADS-B innovation not only provides safer operations for UAS, but it also offers a market-leading solution to the Federal Aviation Administration’s mandate that all aircraft operating within the Class A airspace (~18,000–60,000 ft.) be equipped with ADS-B technology by 2020. As a result, Armstrong’s ADS-B technology offers major benefits to the aviation industry.

Specifically designed to enhance communications, command-and-control operations, and efficient sense-and-avoid capabilities for UAS, Armstrong’s ADS-B technology makes significant strides toward UAS gaining access to the National Airspace System. This will enable UAS to be used more extensively in traffic monitoring, public safety surveillance, meteorological data collection, aerial photography and mapping, and other applications.

This state-of-the-art innovation was developed by Ricardo Arteaga, Mike Dandachy, Robert Kotcher, Duc Tran, and David Kun.

Peak-Seeking Control

Originally developed for military jets flying in formation, this patented algorithm has been successfully used to reduce aircraft fuel consumption in other flight situations. For example, when applied to aircraft trim, this easy-to-implement technology has successfully reduced fuel consumption by 3%. Such a reduction translates into a savings of millions of gallons of fuel each year for the aviation industry while reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by millions of metric tons.

In addition, this technology’s ability to automatically optimize dynamic systems in real time to meet a wide range of performance objectives can be applied to a wide range of nonaviation industries. It can optimize performance for automobiles, the energy sectors (both green and oil/gas), manufacturing, biomedicine and pharmaceuticals, business processes, and more.

The innovation was developed by John (Jack) Ryan, Nelson Brown, and Curt Hanson in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles.

The awards ceremony was held August 26, 2014, at the FLC’s joint Far West/Mid-Continent Regional Meeting in Denver, Colorado.