NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has unveiled a new strategic vision that will better align the work of the agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate to address looming challenges in global air transportation.
Continuing a tradition of nearly a century of aviation research, NASA's aeronautical innovators will bring to life new technology and ideas in flight to ensure the United States will maintain its leadership in the sky and sustain aviation as a key economic driver for the nation.
Bolden shared the strategic vision as a keynote speaker during a gathering of the nation's leading aviation engineers and managers at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics' Aviation 2013 conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
"Nearly every aircraft flying and air traffic management system now in use includes NASA-supported technologies that improve efficiency and safety," said Bolden. "This new vision will expand on that by fully integrating into aviation advances in other industries and parts of the economy to meet the future demands for global mobility in ways we can only begin to imagine today."
The new strategic vision greatly expands the relevancy of NASA's research and is based on three themes: understanding emerging global trends, using those trends to drive research directions and then organizing NASA's aeronautical research work in response to those drivers.
The new vision addresses key drivers that are expected to change the face of aviation during the next 20 to 40 years. Those drivers include significant growth in planet-wide demand for air mobility, mounting concerns related to climate and energy, and the convergence of technologies ranging from new materials to embedded sensors to ubiquitous networking.
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