Committee for the Review of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Programs

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Transportation Research Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences



Washington, D.C.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Committee for the Review of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Programs Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Transportation Research Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by NNH05CC15C between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aero - nautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-15793-3 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-15793-5 Cover: Cover design by Tim Warchocki. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Wash - ington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, shar- ing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and rec - ognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad com - munity of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the gov - ernment, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.or g

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OTHER REPORTS OF THE AERONAuTICS AND SPACE ENgINEERINg BOARD Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research (Laboratory Assessments Board with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2010) Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies (Space Studies Board [SSB] with ASEB, 2010) America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2009) An Assessment of NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (ASEB, 2009) Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2009 Engineering and Physical Science Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2009) Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (ASEB, 2009) Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Summary of a Workshop (ASEB, 2008) A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program (ASEB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2008 Engineering Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2008 Ohio Research Scholars Program of the State of Ohio (ASEB, 2008) Launching Science: Science Opportunities Provided by NASA’s Constellation System (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration (ASEB, 2008) NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment (ASEB, 2008) Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report (ASEB, 2008) Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2008) United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Wake Turbulence: An Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity (ASEB, 2008) Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2007) Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future (ASEB, 2006) Review of the Space Communications Program of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate (ASEB, 2006) Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report (ASEB, 2005) Review of Physical Science Proposals to the State of Ohio’s Wright Centers of Innovation Award Program: Final Letter Report (ASEB, 2005) Technology Pathways: Assessing the Integrated Plan for a Next Generation Air Transportation System (ASEB, 2005) Letter Report from the Panel for the Review of Proposals for NASA’s Intelligent Propulsion Systems Foundation Technology (PSFT) Program (ASEB, 2004) Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report (ASEB, 2004) Systems Integration for Project Constellation (ASEB, 2004) Limited copies of ASEB reports are available free of charge from Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-2858/ iv

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COMMITTEE FOR THE REVIEW OF NASA’S AVIATION SAFETY-RELATED PROgRAMS H. NORMAN ABRAMSON, Southwest Research Institute (retired), Chair ROBERT T. FRANCIS, Zuckert, Scoutt, and Rosenberger, L.L.P., Vice Chair ELLA M. ATKINS, University of Michigan DEBORAH A. BOEHM-DAVIS, George Mason University JAMES BURIN, Flight Safety Foundation COLIN G. DRURy, State University of New york at Buffalo R. JOHN HANSMAN, JR., Massachusetts Institute of Technology PIERRE T. KABAMBA, University of Michigan JAMES R. KRODEL, Pratt and Whitney RAyMOND R. LaFREy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (retired) EDMOND L. SOLIDAy, United Airlines (retired) CORNELIA TOWNSEND, Boeing Commercial Airplanes ERIC J. TUEGEL, Air Force Research Laboratory RAyMOND VALEIKA, Independent Consultant WILLIAM WHITTON, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Staff PAUL JACKSON, Program Officer, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, Study Director (from August 2009) THOMAS R. MENZIES, JR., Senior Program Officer, Transportation Research Board BRIAN DEWHURST, Program Officer, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (through August 2009) ANDREA REBHOLZ, Program Associate, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board MICHAEL H. MOLONEy, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board v

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AERONAuTICS AND SPACE ENgINEERINg BOARD RAyMOND S. COLLADAy, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired), Chair KyLE T. ALFRIEND, Texas A&M University AMy L. BUHRIG, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN-PAUL B. CLARKE, Georgia Institute of Technology RAVI B. DEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation (retired) MICA R. ENDSLEy, SA Technologies DAVID GOLDSTON, Harvard University R. JOHN HANSMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN B. HAyHURST, Boeing Company (retired) PRESTON HENNE, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant IVETT LEyVA, Air Force Research Laboratory ELAINE S. ORAN, Naval Research Laboratory ELI RESHOTKO, Case Western Reserve University EDMOND SOLIDAy, United Airlines (retired) Staff MICHAEL H. MOLONEy, Director (from April 1, 2010) RICHARD E. ROWBERG, Interim Director (March 2, 2009, to March 31, 2010) CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator TANJA PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations CELESTE A. NAyLOR, Information Management Associate CHRISTINA O. SHIPMAN, Financial Officer SANDRA WILSON, Financial Assistant vi

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2010 EXECuTIVE COMMITTEE MICHAEL R. MORRIS, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Chair NEIL J. PEDERSEN, Maryland State Highway Administration, Vice Chair J. BARRy BARKER, Transit Authority of River City ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation LARRy L. BROWN, SR., Mississippi Department of Transportation DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Norfolk Southern Corporation WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, University of California, Los Angeles NICHOLAS J. GARBER, University of Virginia JEFFREy W. HAMIEL, Metropolitan Airports Commission EDWARD A. HELME, Center for Clean Air Policy RANDELL H. IWASAKI, California Department of Transportation ADIB K. KANAFANI, University of California, Berkeley SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Nevada Department of Transportation DEBRA L. MILLER, Kansas Department of Transportation PETE K. RAHN, Missouri Department of Transportation SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, University of Arizona, Tucson TRACy L. ROSSER, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. STEVEN T. SCALZO, Marine Resources Group HENRy G. SCHWARTZ, JR., Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc. (retired) BEVERLy A. SCOTT, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority DAVID SELTZER, Mercator Advisors LLC DANIEL SPERLING, University of California, Davis DOUGLAS W. STOTLAR, Con-Way, Inc. C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin Staff ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Executive Director vii

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Preface Section 305 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 directed the National Aeronautics and Space Admin - istration (NASA) to contract with the National Research Council (NRC) for an “independent review of NASA’s aviation safety-related research programs.” The act calls for a review of whether the programs have well-defined, prioritized, and appropriate research objectives; resources have been allocated appropriately among these objec - tives; the programs are well coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other relevant agen - cies; and suitable mechanisms are in place for transitioning the research results in a timely manner. The specific language of the study charge is contained in Appendix A of this report. To conduct the review, the NRC’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB), in conjunction with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies, assembled a committee of 15 experts with a wide range of expertise and perspectives. H. Norman Abramson, executive vice president (retired) of the Southwest Research Institute, chaired the committee, which included experts in aviation safety, aircraft manufacturing, airline operations, aircraft aging and condition, flight control, aviation software safety, traffic operations, weather, human factors, and the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Biographical sketches of the committee members can be found in Appendix B of this report. Over the course of 9 months, the committee met four times. During its first meeting on June 22-23, 2009, the committee received overview briefings on NASA’s safety-related research from Amy Pritchett, then-director of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s (ARMD) Aviation Safety Program. To better understand its charge, the committee also talked with Richard Obermann, a member of the staff of the House Committee on Science and Technology. In addition, the FAA’s Barry Scott, director of research and technology development, and Robert Pappas, manager of aviation safety research and development, made presentations on the means by which the FAA and NASA coordinate in the conduct and transitioning of safety-related research. The committee’s second meeting was held September 3-4, 2009, at the NASA Ames Research Center, where the committee was able to interact directly with NASA researchers from a variety of locations, including NASA Ames, Glenn, and Langley research centers. During this meeting, the committee received more detailed briefings on the research being undertaken by NASA’s Aviation Safety Program from Amy Pritchett and several principal investigators. The committee’s third meeting was held on November 19-20, 2009, immediately following NASA’s annual Aviation Safety Program Technical Conference. Several committee members were able to attend the conference, providing additional insight into the safety work at NASA. At this meeting, the committee heard from Jay Dryer and John Cavolowsky, directors of ARMD’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program and its Airspace Systems Program, ix

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x PREFACE respectively. They discussed the aviation safety-related research being conducted in their ARMD programs. The committee also used this opportunity to meet with Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for ARMD. The committee met for the final time on February 22-23, 2010, to develop this report. The committee thanks all of the individuals who made presentations during the meetings and otherwise assisted the committee during the course of the study. Staff support for the committee’s efforts was managed through the combined efforts of Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., Brian Dewhurst (through August 2009), and Paul Jackson (since August 2009). The committee wishes to give special thanks to Andrea Rebholz for her assistance with meeting arrangements and correspondence with the committee. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and techni - cal expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. Thanks go to the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Anthony J. Broderick, independent aviation safety consultant; Richard J. Butler, Brigham young University; John B. Hayhurst, the Boeing Company (retired); Roger Kasperson, George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University; Andrew Lacher, MITRE; John K. Lauber, Airbus SAS (retired); Robert Loewy, Georgia Institute of Technology; Najmedin Meshkati, Uni - versity of Southern California; and Alfred T. Spain, JetBlue Airways Corporation (retired). Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Ali Mosleh, University of Maryland, College Park. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents SUMMARy 1 1 INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW 6 Study Charge, Scope, and Approach, 7 Organization and Content of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Research, 8 Report Organization, 13 2 NASA’S AVIATION SAFETy RESEARCH PRIORITIZATION 14 NASA’s Aviation Safety Research Role and Mission, 15 Activities and Entities That Inform NASA’s Safety Research, 16 NASA’s Means of Research Prioritization, 19 3 REVIEW OF SAFETy RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 21 New Operations, 23 Flight In or Around Hazardous Conditions, 25 Loss of Control, 27 Durable Aircraft Structures and Systems, 31 On-Board System Failures and Faults, 36 Analyzing Complex Systems for Safety, 38 Safety-Related Research in the Fundamental Aeronautics Program, 41 Safety-Related Research in the Airspace Systems Program, 44 Summary Assessment, 45 4 KEy FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 49 Key Findings, 50 Recommendations, 54 xi

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xii CONTENTS APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 59 B Committee Biographical Information 60 C Presentation List from the 2009 Aviation Safety Program Technical Conference 65 D Safety R&T Challenges from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics 68 E NASA-Identified R&T Challenges from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics 71 F Acronyms 75