Over 200 children (and some parents) were able to experience the thrill of piloting a 737 aircraft on Saturday, October 21st 2017 at the NASA Langley Research Center’s Centennial Open House event in Hampton, Virginia. NASA Langley opened its doors to the public in a rare opportunity to share the agency’s scientific and technical research with members of the local community. As an extension of the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) booth, Metis Technology Solution Inc. showcased their SBIR-funded flight deck technology that helps pilots operate more safely.
The Metis Intelligent Information Processing System (IIPS) is a software technology that monitors pilot performance against operating parameters and provides “adaptive alerting” to pilots or controllers via a notification process when performance deviates from acceptable standards. Intended for initial use as a pilot training tool, IIPS may eventually be used in an operational flight deck environment and also has application for operation of autonomous systems.
At the NASA LaRC Open House, Metis set up three high-fidelity simulation stations in which the IIPS software was integrated into the Lockheed Martin P3D flight simulator. Metis IIPS Principal Investigator Richard Jessop, engineers Jerry Thomas, Jurrand Summerfield and Jim Smail, and CEO Joy Colucci were on hand to guide visitors through realistic 737 take-off and landing scenarios. Each child completing a take-off or landing received a “NASA/Metis Official Test Pilot” certificate. During these test runs, Metis was also collecting data on software performance that will help the company in further IIPS development efforts.
“What’s exciting about the open house demonstration of Metis’s technology is that public was effectively assisting researchers in developing a technology that may one day be on board aircraft that will safely transport them in the future” said Kyle Ellis, NASA’s Technical Monitor for IIPS who was in attendance at the event. Ellis also noted that “Metis proved their technology is robust enough to operate 3 crew stations in continuous operation with novice pilots for several hours which is one of the toughest tests to date.”