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NASA Engages With Academe Again for Aviation Research

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Five university-led teams will help NASA address aviation technology challenges under a four-year, $32.8M project.

This year’s University Leadership Initiative will tackle multiple topics such as autonomy, weather forecasting, machine learning and composite manufacturing in support of NASA’s goals, the space agency said Saturday.

The 2020 ULI follows previous iterations in 2017 and 2019. Five teams took part in the first ULI, then three teams in last year’s iteration.

“Each of these teams is working on important problems that definitely will help break down barriers in ways that will benefit the U.S. aviation industry,” said John Cavolowsky, director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program in Washington, D.C.

The following universities will lead teams with industry and academia partners:

  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of South Carolina

Stanford University’s team will explore the use of machine learning to determine in real-time whether an autonomous system would function as designed.

The other teams will study other applications such as weather forecasting.

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