Thought Leadership Session 4-B

New Horizons in Aviation R&D

Thursday, November 3, 11:40 - 12:30 PM

It’s an exciting time for the aviation R&D community. Over half a million hobbyist unmanned aircraft have been registered, and the FAA has granted over 5,000 authorizations for commercial use. Entrepreneurs are rapidly expanding into the unmanned aircraft and commercial space operations markets, while researchers explore other new concepts such as personal air vehicles and hypersonic flight. 

How can we accommodate these exciting new airspace entrants while maintaining aviation’s phenomenal safety record? Technology will play a key role and technology advancements will offer innovative solutions to these challenges.

  • Future air traffic managers and vehicle operators will make increased use of intelligent decision support tools to accommodate traffic diversity.
  • Synthetic vision, advanced sensors and natural language processing will enhance their situational awareness.
  • Safety analysts will use data analytic and visualization tools to identify potential issues before they cause accidents.
  • Advanced avionics will greatly enhance pilot situational awareness and safety, and enable new, more efficient flight procedures. 
  • Mobile computing technology will enable pilots to improve flight operations and help passengers improve their flight experience. 
  • Autonomy will play a role, too, as aircraft become more reliant on automated functions to ensure safe operations.

This presentation will provide an overview of today’s aviation challenges and the innovative research and development work being done to address them. The opportunity is global and the session will include the international perspective as well. Researchers at MITRE, NASA, the FAA, and the academic community are making advancements in bringing these solutions to life.