Documents/NASA2011/4: Aeronautics Research

Strategic Goal 4: Aeronautics Research

Advance aeronautics research for societal benefit.

Other Information:

A key enabler for American commerce and mobility, U.S. commercial aviation is vital to the Nation's economic well-being. NASA's aeronautics research contributes significantly to air travel innovation and aligns with the principles, goals, and objectives of the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy and its related National Aeronautics Research and Development Plan. We explore early-stage concepts and ideas, develop new technologies and operational procedures through foundational research, and demonstrate the potential of promising new vehicles, operations, and safety technology in relevant environments. We are focused on the most appropriate cutting- edge research and technologies to overcome a wide range of aeronautics challenges for the Nation's current and future air transportation system. NASA is addressing the research challenges that must be overcome to achieve the goals of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and to enable the design of vehicles that can support NextGen. Our goals are to expand airspace capacity, enable fuel-efficient flight planning, reduce the overall environmental footprint of airplanes today and in the future, diminish delays on the ground and in the sky, and improve the ability of aircraft to operate in all weather conditions while maintaining or exceeding exacting safety standards. Achieving NextGen's benefits will require contributions from all aeronautics research programs and continued collaboration with Government partners, academia, and industry. As we look to future challenges in space exploration, we also are working to greatly advance fundamental understanding of the key aeronautics technologies that would make it possible to safely fly through any atmosphere of Earth or that of another planet. By expanding the boundaries of aeronautical knowledge for the benefit of all, our programs are helping to foster a collaborative research environment in which ideas and knowledge are readily shared and communicated. We continue to work with our partners in other Government agencies, pursuing national goals while achieving our missions. Through the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) we collaborate with the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, and Transportation, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. We work closely with JPDO agency partners to implement a multi-agency vision and plan that will resolve the serious challenges facing the U.S. air transportation system. We also participate in industry working groups and technical interchange meetings at the program and project level to solicit feedback from the broader community. Through NASA Research Announcements, we support new and innovative ideas from industry and academia while providing support for STEM instruction and learning. We fund undergraduate and graduate scholarships, issue Innovation in Aeronautics Instruction grants to improve teaching programs at the university level, and sponsor student design competitions at undergraduate and graduate levels for both U.S. and international entrants. By directly connecting students with NASA researchers and our industrial partners, we become a stronger research organization while inspiring students to choose a career in the aerospace industry.


  • Government Agencies

  • NASA Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO)

  • Department of Commerce

  • Department of Defense

  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Department of Transportation

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

  • NASA Researchers

  • Students

  • Industry

  • Academia

  • Industrial Partners