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Aviation Safety


The Aviation Safety Program conducts fundamental research and technology development of known and predicted safety concerns as the nation transitions to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Future challenges to maintaining aviation safety arise from expected significant increases in air traffic, continued operation of legacy vehicles, introduction of new vehicle concepts, increased reliance on automation, and increased operating complexity. Further design challenges also exist where safety barriers may prevent the technical innovations necessary to achieve NextGen capacity and efficiency goals. The program seeks capabilities furthering the practice of proactive safety management and design methodologies and solutions to predict and prevent safety issues, to monitor for them in-flight and mitigate against them should they occur, to analyze and design them out of complex system behaviors, and to constantly analyze designs and operational data for potential hazards. AvSP's top ten technical challenges are: • Assurance of Flight Critical Systems. • Discovery of Precursors to Safety Incidents. • Assuring Safe Human-Systems Integration. • Prognostic Algorithm Design for Safety Assurance. • Vehicle Health Assurance. • Crew-System Interactions and Decisions. • Loss of Control Prevention, Mitigation, and Recovery. • Engine Icing. • Airframe Icing. • Atmospheric Hazard Sensing & Mitigation. AvSP includes three research projects: • The System-wide Safety Assurance Technologies Project provides knowledge. • Concepts and methods to proactively manage increasing complexity in the design and operation of vehicles. • Air transportation systems, including advanced approaches to enable improved and cost-effective verification and validation of flight-critical systems. The Vehicle Systems Safety Technologies Project identifies risks and provides knowledge to avoid, detect, mitigate, and recover from hazardous flight conditions, and to maintain vehicle airworthiness and health. The Atmospheric Environment Safety Technologies Project investigates sources of risk and provides technology needed to help ensure safe flight in and around atmospheric hazards. NASA seeks highly innovative proposals that will complement its work in science and technologies that build upon and advance the Agency's unique safety-related research capabilities vital to aviation safety. Additional information is available at (
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