NASA launches Aeronatics Research Institute

NASA’s Ames Research Center will host a virtual institute to solicit and foster innovative ideas that address technological challenges facing aviation and the U.S. air transportation system today and in the future.

Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics research in Washington, and Ames Director S. Pete Worden signed an agreement Tuesday establishing the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI).

“This institute will fulfill NASA’s desire to make deliberate investments in innovative, early stage and potentially revolutionary aviation concepts and technologies,” Shin said. “We want innovation not only within our technical portfolio, but also in the management of it. NARI represents a new approach to introduce fresh lines of research.”

NARI will be comprised of multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary research teams creating new tools and technologies for reducing air traffic congestion and environmental impacts, improving safety and designing aircraft with unconventional capabilities. One goal of the institute is to stimulate collaboration between technical disciplines and among NASA, academic institutions, and other government and industry organizations dedicated to aeronautics research.

With $10 million per year to distribute for early stage concepts, the institute will complement NASA’s existing research programs, officials said. As a virtual institute, NARI will facilitate technical exchanges, solicit research proposals, award research grants and use advanced communication technologies such as Web-based seminars to disseminate research findings.

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate will provide policy guidance for the institute, including review and approval of implementation plans; review and concurrence for interagency agreements; and compliance with agency requirements. Ames, which also manages similar virtual institutes focused on astrobiology and lunar science, will host NARI in its NASA Research Park and provide staff and infrastructure for the institute.

“Ames is delighted to host a third virtual institute, focused on another one of our core areas of expertise,” Worden said. “We look forward to building new communities of innovation around aeronautics.”

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