NASA has chosen teams led by four universities to participate in the agency’s University Leadership Initiative, researching “key challenges facing the future of air travel.” This year’s participants include teams headed by New Mexico State University, Boston University, the University of Notre Dame and Tennessee Technological University. The group is the sixth to participate in the initiative, which was launched in 2017.

“The University Leadership Initiative is an integral part of our research portfolio,” said associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters Bob Pearce. “The multidisciplinary teams are directly contributing to our priorities and even leading the exploration of solutions beyond our current portfolio.”

Three of the teams will focus on topics related to advanced air mobility (AAM) safety and the fourth will be developing a preliminary design for an ammonia-based integrated propulsion, power and thermal management system intended for use on a 150-passenger aircraft. Pending final negotiations, the teams will receive a combined total of up to $25.1 million over the next four years. NASA’s University Leadership Initiative is designed to give the academic community “an opportunity to support NASA’s aeronautical research goals” while offering students experience with addressing real-world technical challenges.

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