Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Charles Birdsong


Following the development of Aircraft Collision Avoidance Technology (ACAT) by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a need arose to transition the life-saving technology to aid the general aviation community. Considering the realistic cost of implementation, it was decided that the technology should be adapted to function on any smartphone, using that device as an end-to-end solution to sense, process, and alert the pilot to imminent threats. In September of 2012, the SAS (Sense and Survive) Senior Project Team at California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo was assigned the task of using smartphone technology to accurately sense the flight environment and supply usable data to the collision avoidance algorithm. This report outlines the ideation, design selection, and development that the team of students progressed through in the process of determining the feasibility of using a mobile smartphone device to determine attitude and position as algorithm input parameters. Furthermore, this report includes all plans for design verification and product implementation with regards to this team’s task. It was the conclusion of this team that due to the sensitivity of the phone’s internal sensors to noise, complimentary and simple low-pass filtering methods are insufficient in terms of determining accurate attitude. However, it is possible to achieve accurate position using GPS sensors. With better filtered GPS data, it could be possible to determine attitude based on flight path. The final product of this process and any results produced by the SAS Senior Project Team was presented at the Senior Project Exposition at Cal Poly on May 30, 2013. Everything produced and all intellectual property relating to this project is the property of NASA, and the members of the ACAT team will be responsible for any further development and implementation of this technology.