An overview of NASA’s plan for automated passenger and freight transportation in urban areas – Orange County Register

With the Pacific Air Show in Southern California this weekend, here’s a look at some aerospace projects NASA is developing.

Small drones delivering packages, air taxis carrying passengers, or air ambulances providing life-saving transport – these are just some of the concepts that NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility initiative hopes to realize. New or improved infrastructure will be needed in cities, suburbs and rural areas for these planes to operate safely.

Several research projects in support of advanced air mobility are underway, and one focuses on automation. Technology like this could allow vehicles to operate without a driver, or if a driver is in the loop, increase safety.

Although the concept of city-centric air transport has existed for decades in limited availability in the form of conventional helicopter transport, it has not been widely accessible due to high costs and public opposition to noise. and pollution. Recent advances in technology have allowed the concept to be explored more seriously. Significant improvements in electrical energy storage and capacity will enable electric aircraft that will reduce costs and noise, and provide greater safety.

NASA’s vision for Advanced Air Mobility is to define a new safe, accessible, and affordable air transportation system alongside industry, community partners, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Once developed, passengers and cargo will travel in innovative, automated aircraft that will take off and land vertically across the city, between neighboring towns, or at other locations typically accessible by car today.

The benefits received are:

Easier access for travelers between rural, suburban and urban communities.

Fast delivery of the package.

Reduced travel times.

Disastrous response.

New means of medical transport for passengers and supplies.

NASA’s ‘vertiport’ research takes off

Recently, NASA developed a vertiport – a hub for planes that take off and land vertically – for testing. Much of the country’s aviation infrastructure is dedicated to aircraft. But in the future, vertiports will become more and more important, especially in urban areas.

NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the agency’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley recently completed a series of high-density vertiport tests that marked an important step toward future flight or urban.

The researchers faced three challenges:

Development of a prototype urban air mobility system.

Creation of automated systems for air operations.

Management of airspace, ground control and vehicle fleets.

Initially, unmanned aircraft corridors connect vertiports to support point-to-point movement. As operations scale, corridors can be segmented and connected to form more complex and efficient routes.

Advanced Air Mobility Market

Deloitte, a business analytics firm, and the Aerospace Industries Association predict that the technology market will grow sevenfold between 2025 and 2035.

Sources: NASA, FAA, Sikorsky, urbanairmobilitynews.com, Deloitte Insights

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