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NASA and MTSI to Partner towards Developing a Certifiable Autonomous Aircraft Framework

Press Release From: Modern Technology Solutions, Inc.
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2018

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) will partner over the next 24 months to develop a framework for autonomous aircraft that can be used to achieve Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification. For MTSI, a 100% employee-owned engineering services and technology solutions provider for the defense industry, intelligence community, and commercial markets, it will be the company's first ever NASA Space Act Agreement, which enables it to partner with NASA Armstrong on the NASA Traveler Project.

The objective of this NASA-led project, termed Resilient Autonomy, a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) through Office of Under-Secretary of Defense Emerging Capabilities office (OUSD/EC) is to develop a robust architecture and methodology for certifying fully autonomous systems by using a technique known as multi-mode run-time assurance or MM-RTA. This technique places a deterministic "wrapper" around the autonomous system's non-deterministic software in order to safely bind the untrusted system's behavior.

"MTSI is very excited to partner with NASA on this critical initiative as part of a collaborative effort with other industry partners bringing various autonomous system technologies to the project, that will establish the foundation architecture and methodology for how organizations certify the non-deterministic algorithms central to all autonomous vehicles," stated Russell Wolfe, MTSI's Vice President of Engineering. "I can't imagine a more meaningful project to apply our agile software development expertise and best practices."

"A key element of our strategy is the development of differentiated capabilities that apply broadly to customers across DoD, Civil, and Commercial markets," said Kevin Robinson, MTSI CEO. "MTSI has partnered with NASA on autonomous system development and certification for over 20 years and this agreement represents a great opportunity to cooperatively develop and transition key technologies that will have a positive impact on next generation aviation."

MTSI's self-funded Innovation Program will help develop software code and algorithms that will be part of the core Expandable Variable Autonomy Architecture (EVAA) and supporting safety monitors and modules under the terms of the Space Act Agreement.

About Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI)

MTSI is a 100% employee-owned engineering services and technology solutions company delivering first- choice capabilities to solve problems of global importance in the critical mission areas of missile defense, cyber security, intelligence, unmanned/autonomous systems, aviation, space, and homeland security. MTSI's mission is to make important and lasting contributions to the nation's defense and security by providing leadership and best- value solutions to solve America's most technically challenging strategic problems. Founded in 1993, MTSI today has over 900 employees, based at 20 offices and field sites worldwide. Read more at www.mtsi-va.com. For more information on available job opportunities with MTSI and benefits offered including 401K with immediate vesting, zero deductible health plans, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), $10k annual tuition reimbursement, and more paid time off, please visit www.mtsi-va.com/careers.

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