Georgia Tech, Spelman, Southwest Research among team members selected by NASA for aviation projects


NASA / Ga Tech / Spelman College / Southwest Research Institute

NASA’s research into sustainable aviation will receive great support from teams of faculty and university students recently selected to participate in the agency’s Academic Leadership Initiative (ULI).

ULI gives the university community the opportunity to support NASA’s aeronautical research objectives and provide students with valuable experience in solving real-world technical challenges.

“The aviation of the future must be climate-friendly for the world to continue to fly, and a great way to do that is to allow the best minds of tomorrow to start contributing to these goals while still in school.” “, said Kushik Datta, ULI project director.

Three of the four teams are working to reduce or eliminate aircraft emissions, with each team approaching the problem from a slightly different perspective. Fourth Team Self-Reliance Research Supports NASA Project Advanced air mobility countryside.

Another key goal of ULI is for students to gain experience leading a multidisciplinary team made up of partners from other universities and industries, including student populations that are under-represented or have not applied their skills. skills in aviation issues.

“A diverse research team allows more voices to be heard and to explore more creative ideas,” Datta said.

A total of four teams were selected for final negotiations which could lead to awards of up to $ 31.5 million over the next five years.

The four teams and their research themes are:

University of Central Florida
The team will explore the use of liquid ammonia – a non-traditional source – as fuel for a jet engine and the production of electricity from the heat of engine exhaust gases, thereby reducing emissions and saving money. fuel. Team members include Georgia Tech, Purdue University, Boeing, GE Research, ANSYS, Southwest Research Institute and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Florida State University
The team will examine how hybrid hydrogen-electric power generation could be combined with fuel cell technology to reduce emissions. Team members include Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of Buffalo, University of Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Raytheon, Boeing and Advanced Magnet Lab.

Georgia Institute of Technology
The team will focus on the sustainable aviation challenges associated with the combustion chamber of a jet engine, but in this case, the engine powers commercial supersonic transport. Team members include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Virginie Tech, Spelman College, University of Missouri of Science and Technology, General Electric and Aerodyne Research Incorporated.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Countryside
The team aims to provide reliable range tools to help Advanced Air Mobility aircraft fly safely in complex airspace, typical of dense urban environments. Team members include Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina A&T State University, University of Nevada at Reno, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corporation.

This is the fifth time that a group of teams has been selected to participate in the ULI. Six teams were selected earlier in 2021, five teams were chosen in 2020, three teams were announced in 2019, and five teams were selected for the inaugural initiative in 2017.

An official notice for the next RFP should be posted in line in March 2022.

For more information on NASA’s aeronautical research, visit:



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