Press Release

NASA Awards Sensis NextGen Research Contract to Model Effects of New Aircraft on the NAS

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2008
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Findings Will Guide Future Directions for Research on NextGen Performance, Environmental and Safety Programs

NASA has awarded Sensis Corporation and its project team members an Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) contract entitled “Integration of Advanced Concepts and Vehicles into the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)” NASA Research Announcement (NRA). The program will employ modeling and simulation capabilities to examine the effect new aircraft types may have on emerging NextGen efficiency, safety and environmental solutions.

The introduction of new aircraft types in the National Airspace System (NAS) -. from slow-moving, low-flying lighter-than-air vehicles to high-flying and fast supersonic transports -. will have an impact on system performance, environmental efficiency and safety assurance. Simultaneously, the ongoing development of the NextGen Air Transportation System will transform the NAS through significant technology and policy changes. Both projects will leverage NASA’s Advanced Concept Evaluation System, a fast time simulation model of the NAS, for which Sensis has provided the technical leadership throughout its development.

“This project lies at the intersection of exciting developments in aircraft designs and the significant changes to the NAS that lie ahead,” said Marc Viggiano, Sensis Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. “This research will provide the framework to ensure that these new aircraft types and their anticipated effects on the NAS are provided for in the ongoing development of NextGen solutions that address capacity, efficiency, environmental performance, safety and security.”

The project’s goals are to understand the trade-offs involved for both vehicles and air traffic management in order to offer recommendations for NASA’s Airspace Systems Program, guidance for future vehicle technology research to the Fundamental Aeronautics Program and recommendations for the Aviation Safety Program. In addition, the project will deliver research and specific design recommendations to the JPDO for inclusion in future refinements of NextGen. As part of the program, the project team — Sensis Corporation, Georgia Tech, CSSI, Inc., ATAC Corporation, L-3 Communications, Honeywell and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .- will deliver to NASA a reusable analysis infrastructure to provide a mechanism for quantitatively determining the effect of new vehicle concepts on NextGen and vice-versa.

Sensis is a leader in modeling and simulation services that enable users to effectively assess the potential impact of future airspace and airport improvements. Providing fast-time and real-time simulations, Sensis modeling and simulation services can generate current and future air traffic demand scenarios; provide NAS-wide or regional simulations to evaluate current and future air traffic management concepts; and analyze and visualize simulation results.


Sensis Corporation provides sensors, information technology, and simulation and modeling to the world’s air navigation service providers, civil aviation authorities, airports, airlines and militaries. Sensis Corporation solutions are deployed around the world. For more information regarding Sensis Corporation, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.