NASA announces partners for advanced air mobility testing next year

Avatar for eVTOLBy eVTOL | July 8, 2021

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 8 seconds.

NASA has announced participants in NC-1, the first full phase of testing in its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign.

NC-1 will include flight demonstrations and simulations at test sites around the United States over several months in 2022. Participants include vehicle, airspace, and infrastructure partners who will help NASA establish how to integrate new aircraft including eVTOL air taxis into the national airspace system.

Joby Aviation will continue its participation in NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign through NC-1. Bradley Wentzel Photo

Three of the companies will conduct flight demonstrations, including eVTOL developers Joby Aviation and Wisk Aero — both previously announced as partners in the campaign — and California-based Reliable Robotics, a developer of autonomous flight technology that earlier this year conducted remotely piloted test flights of a Cessna Caravan.

Five partners will provide infrastructure in support of NC-1 demonstrations, including AURA Network Systems, Raytheon Company, Robust Analytics Inc., SkyGrid, and The University of North Texas. AURA was also chosen for additional communications, navigation, and surveillance flight testing activities, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, ANRA Technologies Inc., ARINC Incorporated, Avision Inc., Metron Aviation Inc., OneSky Systems Inc., SkyGrid, and Unmanned Experts Inc. will engage in airspace simulations during this phase of the campaign.

“The National Campaign team is excited to conduct operational flight demonstrations with the first advanced air mobility integrated experimental ecosystem for the urban environment that connects airspace providers, infrastructure services, and a UAM [urban air mobility] vehicle in real time,” stated Starr Ginn, AAM National Campaign lead.

NASA announced in May that it had completed the second round of integrated dry run tests for its AAM National Campaign, setting the stage for development testing with Joby Aviation later this year. Joby will assist NASA in activities including designing flight scenarios for the NC-1 participants to fly.

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