Similarly, the panels will consider the following during their work:

  • Worldwide state of the art and state of practice in relevant fields.

  • Interdisciplinary research and cross-cutting technologies.

  • Systems integration.

  • Simulation methods, laboratory and wind tunnel testing, and flight demonstration.

  • Special workforce, education, and training issues related to specific areas of expertise.

  • Operational requirements of the U.S. air transportation industry, the FAA, airports, the Department of Defense, general aviation, and other users of the national airspace.

  • How aeronautics research priorities and endeavors by industry, universities, the Department of Defense (including DARPA), and other government agencies (such as the FAA) should affect aeronautics research by NASA. Areas of particular interest include but are not limited to computational fluid dynamics and turbulence modeling, materials, and networking and information technology.

Based on written internal inputs from the panels, the steering committee will prepare a final report that discusses the framework for current investments and the key issues related to investment in aeronautics R&D, integrates the results of the panels, and provides a set of overall findings and recommendations to provide a cumulative, integrated view of the panel results. The committee will also specifically focus on identifying cross-cutting technologies and broad areas of investment between the various panels’ recommendations and highlight areas of possible revolutionary advancement. Neither the committee nor the panels will make specific budget recommendations.


The study will begin with a joint kick-off meeting between the steering committee and its supporting panels in order to hear directly from NASA and other federal entities the primary purpose of the study. The steering committee of approximately 15 members will develop an overarching set of principles for investment in national aeronautics research and technology and a set of key challenges (technical thrust areas) that will guide the panels’ work. The supporting panels, as overseen by the steering committee, will individually address the key points in the statement of task, meeting approximately three more times. Each panel will provide an examination of the research priorities, possible research plans, and capabilities necessary to undertake the suggested research. Internal working papers and summaries will be provided to the steering committee from the panels outlining their conclusions, findings, and recommendations. The steering committee will prepare a final report that integrates the results of the panels and provides a cumulative, integrated, and prioritized set of overall findings and recommendations.

It is expected that five supporting panels will be formed (see below) composed of approximately 10 members each:

Panel A: Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics

Panel B: Propulsion and power

Panel C: Materials and structures

Panel D: Dynamics, navigation, and control, and avionics

Panel E: Intelligent and autonomous systems, operations and decision making, human integrated systems, and networking and communications

All five panels should address issues related to subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic flight regimes; infrastructure; transformation of the air transportation system; workforce; and education. As necessary, one or more subgroups of the steering committee will integrate and evaluate the suggestions of the panels in some or all of these areas.

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