AFWERX has joined forces with NASA in a collaborative effort to create a digital operations center for the evolving realm of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) through the Civilian Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program (CCRPP). The recipient of the CCRPP award, ResilienX, will play a pivotal role in this endeavor.
Given the rapid expansion of AAM technology, AFWERX’s Airspace Innovation and Prime Partnerships program, in conjunction with NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration, is actively addressing technological and administrative gaps within the field. In early 2023, AFWERX solidified these collaborations through a Memorandum of Understanding and active participation in the AAM Interagency Working Group, shaping the trajectory of AAM’s future.
The CCRPP, operating under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program, strategically injects funding into the development of mission-relevant technologies, aiming to catalyze their commercialization.
This innovative system is designed to augment base security, fortify special forces operations, streamline emergency disaster response, and optimize planning for passenger and cargo transportation. Moreover, ongoing efforts are focused on integrating additional technologies crucial for air domain awareness.
ResilienX is dedicated to ensuring comprehensive safety in AAM ecosystems and is at the forefront of an industry consortium’s efforts to establish a digital system for AAM operations. The initiative aims to define and execute the initial integration of a scalable and tactical AAM Operations Center, facilitating the verification and validation of diverse systems and sensors used in uncrewed aerial systems, electric vertical take-off and landing operations, and other advanced aviation technologies. The inaugural AAM Operations Center will be collaboratively developed with NUAIR at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, with plans for testing and subsequent expansion to additional locations by 2025.
Each participating company in the consortium leverages its industry expertise and technological advancements to contribute to the development of the most robust system possible. As military and other government stakeholders introduce additional requirements, AFWERX anticipates enlisting further industry partners in the upcoming phases of the project.
“We are thrilled with the trust AFWERX has put in us to lead this consortium,” said Ryan Pleskach, CEO of ResilienX. “Through a dedicated systems engineering approach, we intend to develop a dual-use solution to the core digital infrastructure needed for advanced air mobility that is inherently scalable and extensible. Through this pioneering effort and with support of all the federal stakeholders that AFWERX is bringing to the table, we believe this solution will be turnkey and available to government and commercial markets in late 2024.”
Utilizing the research expertise of NASA and AFWERX’s subject matter experts, this collaborative project will attempt to meet the needs of the emerging field of AAM operations. It is informed by the U.S. Air Force AAM Operations Center requirements through testing and operator interactions.
The first development phase will include a detailed need and task assessment, feature development with user interviews and observations, initial integration of baseline technologies, and testing. The second phase will see user testing of human factors, safety development, prototype testing, and a live system demonstration.
ResilienX has received $4.8 million in AFWERX and NASA funding through the CCRPP for this project. The program is planned to progress through October 2025. (Press Release)
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL is integral in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace forces. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development.
As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 325 military, civilian, and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites, executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,697 contracts worth more than $2.6 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability.
Post Image- AFWERX is partnering with NASA to create a digital operations center for future Advanced Air Mobility efforts through the Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program awardee, ResilienX. (Image Credit: Andrew Carter)