National Aeronautics and
Langley Research Center
Hampton, Virginia 23681-2199
Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA July 25, 2001
(Phone: 757/864-6120/344-7211 mobile)
RELEASE NO. 01-081
New Public/Private Venture in
Small Aircraft Transportation System Research and Technology Development
Aviation Programs Office, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton,
VA is pleased to ann ounce that four teams have been selected
to participate in the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Research and Development project The projectwill be
implemented in phases, beginning in the fall of 2001 and continuing to the
flight demonstration phase in 2005.
Through shared public and private investments in the Advanced General Aviation Transportation Experiments (AGATE) project, and in part due to the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, improvements are being made to small aircraft that make them easier to fly, safer to fly, and more affordable to purchase and operate. SATS will continue the public/private investment model and build on these improvements. New general aviation aircraft will use advanced technology control and display systems, advanced data communications systems, advanced navigation and weather systems, and new landing systems that allow operation in near all-weather conditions at non-radar, non-towered landing facilities. All of these improvements, when combined, will make on-demand, distributed personal air travel a practical reality.
The four teams
that will participate in the initial research and development phase
ar e as
follows in alphabetical order by team
name Maryland SATS Lab, North Carolina-Upper Great Plains SATS Lab,
Southeast SATS Lab Consortium , and Virginia SATS Lab.
Each of the
four teams is a partnership of industry, state government,
nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. These partnerships, or consortia, will
share resources and costs with the federal government in an effort to move the
SATS concept from the research phase to an implementation phase.
The teams have signed cost-sharing agreements with NASA that provide a total investment of approximately $13 million for the first year of the program. The NASA portion of the investment is approximately $7.5 million. The four teams will work independently on portions of the total effort. The General Aviation Programs Office, together with a private nonprofit management organization that will be formed later this year, will coordinate the total program.
Each of the
teams has provided a brief description of their agreement with NASA. Those descriptions are included below in
Advanced Development Laboratory (MADL)
will perform advanced technology
investment research and flight test planning for NASA Langley Research
Center. In July 2001, the Maryland
Advanced Development Laboratory (MADL) of the University Research
Foundation was one of four teams selected by NASA Langley Research
Center’s General Aviation Programs Office (GAPO) for award of the Small Aircraft
Transportation Systems (SATS) Demonstration Planning contract. MADL, led by its President, Dr.
Norris Krone, formed the Maryland
SATS Laboratory (SATS Lab) team to support NASA in “extremely aggressive
research and development” that culminates in a series of large-scale regional
and state “showcase” flight demonstrations of new operational flight
capabilities . MADL has
teamed with industry and state agencies that will
assist in demonstrating how existing and developmental technology can improve
and simplify air transportation.
The Maryland SATS
Lab team has been carefully task organized based upon NASA’s
desire to expand the role of our nations small
aircraft transportation resource State agencies and industries such as the Maryland
Aviation Administration, Hinson Corporate Flight, Inc., ARINC Incorporated,
Airpark Sales and Services and the University of Maryland Labs. the local synergy required to
coordinate and execute this initiative.
Maryland SATShas partnered its local assets with of industry’s
finest corporations including Applied Science Technology (ASI),
Cirrus Design, Decision Studies Incorporated (DSI), Lancair Company, UPS
Aviation Technologies and Science Applications International Corporation
accomplish this demonstration project. Over the next year, the NASA portion of
the Maryland is
expected to be approximately $850,000.
The cost-share from the partnership is expected to be slightly less
than that amount.
The focus of the
Team effort will be to evolve existing flight related
procedures, integrate the team’s existing and developmental technology and study
the human factor requirements for both the experienced pilot and novice aircraft
operator. The team’s ability to
perform these tasks is aided by the use of multiple small civil aircraft already
configured with developmental systems, recording and analysis equipment. The planes will ultimately be configured
with additional equipment that integrates their multiple functions into a
single, automated suite. Such an
integrated suite will provide the equivalent of a skilled electronic
The North Carolina – Upper Great Plains SATS Lab Team partners state aviation authorities, small airports, industry, universities, and other private and non-profit organizations in an ambitious plan to implement a three-tier air transportation system in North Carolina by 2003.
states include Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma
and South Dakota. Industry partners
include ARNIC, Cessna, Nav3D, Piedmont Hawthorne Aviation, Rannoch, Raytheon,
Rockwell Collins, Seagull Technology, Telford Aviation, UPS Technologies and
United Airlines. Private partners
include Hoh Aeronautics and Human-Machine Solutions. Academic and nonprofit partners include
the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of North
Carolina’s Keenan Institute, North Carolina State University ,
and the Research Triangle Institute.
The NASA portion of the project over the next year is approximately $1.5
million dollars and the cost share from the partnership
is approximately $1 .0 million.
airports located primarily in North Carolina will participate in the initial
airports in the team will conduct further demonstrations toward the end of the
project. Synthetic Vision, Highway in the Sky
(HITS), and Advanced Flight Controls.
The premier demonstration will occur at Kitty Hawk at the Dare County
Airport in celebration of the Centennial of Flight, December
Southeast SATS Lab Consortium (SESLC)
Lab Consortium (SESLC), led by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, was
officially incorporated in the State of Florida
on September 28, 2000.
It represents the direct membership of the SESCL, including over
fortyaviation and technology companies, airframe manufacturers,
aviation infrastructure providers, universities, airport managers and aviation
authorities, pilots , and professional associations across the
nation. Through members like the
Florida Space Grant Consortium, The National Safe Skies Alliance, and the
Trades Association, the SESLC
’s reaches more over 200 aviation-related organizations that are
interested in changing the future of personal transportation. More than two -dozen airports in
the Southeastern United States are either SESLC members , or becoming
members, and each has expressed interest in hosting SATS experiments and
demonstrations. States represented
in the membership include Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, New York,
Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas , and Virginia. Other government organizations
participating in the project include : FAA Southern
Region, Florida Department of Transportation, FAA Orlando Airports District
Office , and Enterprise Florida.
Over the next
year, the Southeast SATS Lab Team is expected to receive $2.5 million from
NASA. Another $2.5 million is
expected from member industry and airport organizations. The funding will enable experiments and
demonstrations in a network of airports throughout the southeastern states. With NASA,
Industry, State , and other
anticipated funding sources, the SESLC expects the entire five-year project to exceed $82
Virginia SATS Lab
The Virginia SATS
Lab Research Alliance, led by George Mason University, is expected to receive
dollars to conduct research and analysis that
will lead to a state-based Small Aircraft Transportation System flight
demonstration in 2005. The Commonwealth of
Virginiaplan s to contribute at least $1.6 million dollars to the alliance over the next
includes George Mason University, Virginia Tech, Ohio University, Virginia
Department of Aviation, Arthur D. Little, Athena Technologies, Inc., Aurora
Flight Sciences Corp. ARNAV, Inc., ARINC, Aviation Systems Engineering, Inc.,
Cirrus Aircraft, Colgan Air, Dulles Aviation, Rannoch, Inc., The Preston Group,
Trios Associates, Inc. and the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics. The Virginia project
includes five airports and utilizes the statewide data link services funded by
the Virginia Department of Aviation (VDO
V) and provided by ARNAV, Inc orporated.
project hopes to prove that
'A single pilot small aircraft can be safely sequenced
and separated in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) at higher volume
airports without a terminal radar controller or a control tower with mixed
aircraft equipage, can land in low visibility weather conditions at minimally
equipped airports, and can accomplish high conformance and
autonomous operations un en route
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