Press Release

LMI to Advise NASA on Future Automation in the Air Cargo Industry

September 28, 2020

Tysons, Va. – NASA has selected LMI to perform a future-focused research study on the forecasted market, risks, and opportunities associated with the integration of unmanned cargo vehicles into the National Airspace System (NAS) for its Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). The study will inform the development and prioritization of ARMD’s Air Traffic Management eXploration (ATM-X) project research portfolio, which “will transform the air traffic management system to safely accommodate the growing demand of new air vehicles,” according to NASA’s website.

“Commercial industry has developed, tested, and evaluated autonomous transportation applications; this research will help enable its safe and efficient implementation in the public domain,” said Karen Goodson, director of LMI’s Maintenance, Distribution, and Operational Logistics practice. “Our experts are eager to learn more in support of ARMD and to help inform federal regulatory and investment decisions around this exciting and rapidly growing area.”

LMI, partnering with Crown Consulting, Georgia Tech, and GRA, will survey and interview stakeholders such as national and regional air cargo carriers, original equipment manufacturers, and regulatory bodies like the Federal Aviation Administration. The findings will help define use cases for, and model the economics of, future automated air cargo vehicle operations in the NAS, which encompasses military and civilian airspace and adjoining infrastructure.

The study, performed under the Data Analysis and Technical Support Services (DATSS) contract, represents new customer responsibilities for LMI, which has supported NASA for over 20 years.

“We are thrilled to expand our support to NASA and look forward to strengthening our longstanding relationship through this study,” said Jeff Wehner, director of LMI’s civilian market. “As an industry leader in logistics research and expertise, we appreciate the opportunity to support ARMD’s analysis of automated air cargo operations and how to realize its immense potential for federal and commercial purposes.”

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