CLOSE

Aerospace Applications North America provides human machine interface design services to a wide variety of industries. Whether you want a specific graphical component, an entire display or even a complete control system, our team can design to your needs and budget.

  • To design and implement these custom software solutions or components, we make use of C++ and OpenGL for safety critical applications, with the help of GL Studio or IData for graphics specification.
  • For automation tasks we use Python.
  • For systems with a distributed focus we use HTML and Javascript.

If you have the need for a custom software application, find out if we can accommodate your needs and budget. Whatever type of industry you are in, whether you are a small, middle or large business; contact us and see how space technology and expertise can benefit your company!

Sensor Fusion Project

Aerospace Applications North America was part of the Sensor Fusion Team, a combined NASA/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) effort to investigate how new procedures, techniques and displays can make flight inspections easier, safer and cheaper.

Flight inspections ensure the integrity of instrument approaches and airway procedures that constitute the National Airspace System infrastructure. This is accomplished through airborne inspection of all space and ground based instrument flight procedures and instrumentation. Up to today this is a tedious, expensive and sometimes even very dangerous process.

The contribution of our team for this project was as follows:

  • Implement Head-Up Display (HUD) components in C++ and OpenGL, as well as three-dimensional Augmented Reality (AR) visual aids to support the flight inspection missions and to facilitate pilot operations during flight instrument approaches.
  • Support the design and implementation of a flight inspection operator station located on an FAA-provided Challenger 604 jet aircraft, including 3 forward-facing cameras in the cockpit and a 3-panel display system in the back of the airplane.
  • Define the operational scenarios, prepare briefings and evaluation questionnaires, and support a 3-day test campaign of the technology at Ellington Field (EFD) airport in Houston, involving NASA astronauts and test pilots.

Debris Tool

Aerospace Applications North America implemented a moving map display driven by a GPS sensor, to indicate in real-time to helicopter flight crews which areas to avoid during parachute flight tests. The moving map display was programmed using C++ and GL Studio. The tool also includes a telemetry server programmed with MFC, and a serial port reader to access sensor data, programmed in C#.

  • The Debris Tool has been successfully used in over 20 flight test missions of the Orion spacecraft Capsule Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) at the US Army Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG) in Arizona. During the tests, helicopters fly as close as possible to the Orion capsule after is is dropped from a C-17, taking pictures and video of the parachutes while they are deploying, for NASA engineers to analyse after each test.
  • However, during deployement of the various parachutes involved in every test, debris invisible to the flight crews are jettisoned from the parachute mortar systems on the capsule, and could damage the helicopters. The Debris Tool allows helicopters to be aware of the predicted position of these debris, and thus to fly closer to the capsule than they would of they didn’t have that tool.
  • Additionally, the tool allows crews to locate all of the debris that were jettisoned from the space capsule after the mission is over. The moving map displays the predicted landing location of each debris, from which the helicopter crews can start searching for each debris.

The tool has also successfully been used during the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission, during which helicopter crews took off from an US Navy ship in the Pacific Ocean to document parachute deployment while the Orion capsule returned to Earth. A member of our company participated in this mission as the Debris Tool operator on the second helicopter.

Electronic Procedures Authoring Tool

Aerospace Applications North America programmed a web-based tool to allow mission operations specialists to easily create electronic procedures to be used on-board the Orion spacecraft cockpit during a mission.

  • Electronic procedures are one of the most innovative aspects of the Orion cockpit. They allow operators to view procedures directly on the cockpit hardware and to interact with display objects to fetch telemetry or cue commands. Unfortunately, this additional connectivity creates complexity in authoring the procedures.
  • The Electronic Procedures Authoring Tool provides mission operations specialists with a way to select the desired electronic procedure instruction type they are interested in, and to quickly identify the parts of a display electronic procedures can interact with. More importantly, it automatically performs the tedious behind-the-scenes work of specifying all the required parameters to configure each instruction as desired. All the author really has to do is write the procedure as they would on paper, and the system intelligently derives all the details.

The tool’s user interface is programmed in HTML and Javascript. It is web-based, due to the distributed nature of procedure authoring work. The back-end is supported by a Python server, which also performs all the procedure post-processing.