Electric air taxis: NASA's tabletop exercises for safer national airspace

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 29-12-2022 20:20 IST | Created: 29-12-2022 20:20 IST
Electric air taxis: NASA's tabletop exercises for safer national airspace
Image Credits: NASA / Kyle Jenkins
  • Country:
  • United States

Throughout 2022, NASA's held a series of tabletop discussions to determine how electric air taxis could be safely integrated into the national airspace, paving the way for passengers to eventually be able to travel quickly between cities via aerial highways.

Led by NASA's Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign team, these expert-led discussions examined potentially unforeseen technical, operational, and regulatory gaps and defined the best use of combined resources to address them.

The initial conversations, held from March to May 2022, centered around the anticipation of a practical commercial operation and the complexity of AAM, such as reliable radio communication for navigation, the landing space available at vertiports, and the avoidance of buildings, trees, and other aircraft in flight. The following phase created comprehensive scenarios for flight tabletop exercises that took place from August to October 2022.

These discussions include the following partners:

  • One vehicle developer: Wisk Aero based in Hollister, California
  • Five airspace service providers - Avision of Santa Monica, California; OneSky of Exton, Pennsylvania; SkyGrid of Austin, Texas; ANRA of Chantilly, Virginia; and Collins Aerospace of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Two Command and Control Communications Service Providers - AURA of McLean, Virginia, and Collins Aerospace of Charlotte, North Carolina

The NASA team collaborated with Wisk Aero, the main partner in this activity, to create the various "user stories" of the tabletops based on the concept of AAM operations that Wisk had made public.

"We are proud to be the primary partner for NASA's AAM airspace tabletop exercises, which provide a unique opportunity for collaboration among industry partners in the National Campaign," said Sonal Baid, senior product manager for Airspace Integration at Wisk.

The tabletop series is one part of a broad collection of National Campaign research activities with partners currently working on AAM vehicles, automation software, and future airspace planning, according to NASA.

Give Feedback