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Monday, July 14, 2008

NASA Awards Research Contract to Model Effects of New Aircraft on Airspace System

NASA has awarded Sensis Corporation and its project team members an Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) contract titled "Integration of Advanced Concepts and Vehicles into the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)" NASA Research Announcement (NRA). The program will employ modeling and simulation capabilities to examine the effect new aircraft types may have on emerging NextGen efficiency, safety and environmental

The introduction of new aircraft types in the National Airspace System (NAS) -- from slow-moving, low-flying lighter-than-air vehicles to high-flying and fast supersonic transports -- will have an impact on system performance, environmental efficiency and safety assurance. Simultaneously, the ongoing development of the NextGen Air Transportation System will
transform the NAS through significant technology and policy changes. Both projects will leverage NASA's Advanced Concept Evaluation System, a fast time simulation model of the NAS, for which Sensis has provided the technical leadership throughout its development.

"This project lies at the intersection of exciting developments in aircraft designs and the significant changes to the NAS that lie ahead," says Marc Viggiano, Sensis senior vice president and chief strategy officer. "This research will provide the framework to ensure that these new
aircraft types and their anticipated effects on the NAS are provided for in the ongoing development of NextGen solutions that address capacity, efficiency, environmental performance, safety and security."

The project's goals are to understand the trade-offs involved for both vehicles and air traffic management in order to offer recommendations for NASA's Airspace Systems Program, guidance for future vehicle technology research to the Fundamental Aeronautics Program and recommendations for the Aviation Safety Program. In addition, the project will deliver research and specific design recommendations to the JPDO for inclusion in future refinements of NextGen.

As part of the program, the project team -- Sensis Corporation, Georgia Tech, CSSI, Inc., ATAC Corporation, L-3 Communications, Honeywell and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- will deliver to NASA a reusable analysis infrastructure to provide a mechanism for quantitatively determining the effect of new vehicle concepts on NextGen and vice-versa.

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