Air and Space Traffic Interaction Research (ASTIR)
To address efficiency and safety issues associated with the ever-increasing air traffic, NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have engaged in advanced technology development for air traffic management (ATM). The demand for access and use of national airspace is further compounded by the growth of commercial space transportation, which is expected to rise sharply in the 21st century. Traditionally space launches have been relatively infrequent, and most of the launches have used expendable launch vehicles. The use of reusable launch vehicles is expected to gain popularity for economic and environmental reasons, resulting in the National Airspace System (NAS) having to deal with the return flights as well as the launches. In view of these reasons, NASA and FAA need to extend their ATM research to address space flight traffic in the national airspace. The proposed research effort, referred to as Air and Space Traffic Interaction Research (ASTIR), begins with the development and integration of several research tools for the analysis of space vehicle operation in NAS.
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