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Aviation Systems

The Aviation Systems Division houses some of the most sophisticated simulation facilities in the world. We support a wide range of research, with emphasis on aerospace vehicles, aerospace systems and operations, human factors, accident investigations, and studies aimed at improving aviation safety. The Division has partnered with numerous NASA programs over the years, as well as with other government agencies, industry, and academia, and is strategically important in meeting the Nation's present and future aerospace needs.
Photo of a FutureFlight staffer, standing in for a Kennedy controller, observing the virtual shuttle landing FutureFlight Central
NASA FutureFlight Central is a national Air Traffic Control/Air Traffic Management (ATC/ATM) simulation facility dedicated to solving the present and emerging capacity problems of the Nation's airports.
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Photo of the RCAB Cockpit Interior showing the OTW display Vertical Motion Simulator
The Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) is a unique flight simulation complex that provides researchers with exceptional tools to explore, define, and solve issues in both aircraft and spacecraft design. It offers fast and cost-effective solutions using real-time piloted simulation, realistic sensory cues, and the greatest motion range of any flight simulator in the world.
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Photo of Advanced Concepts Flight Simulator Cockpit Interior Crew-Vehicle Systems Research Facility
Designed to provide researchers with an environment where they can study how and why aviation errors occur, the Crew-Vehicle Systems Research Facility (CVSRF) stands out in the area of human factors research. Our goal is to offer researchers a suite of simulation facilities and utilities that can be used to analyze flight crew performance and to develop and improve new simulation and training tools.
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Photo showing the view of Future Flight Central's Air Traffic Control Tower Simulator Virtual Airspace Simulation Technologies - Real Time
The Virtual Airspace Simulation Technologies - Real Time (VAST-RT) provides the means for testing new air traffic concepts through advancements in simulation and modeling. Real time simulation will ensure that human performance and human factors studies can be performed in order to better understand human and system interactions.
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Picture of the NTX Laboratory North Texas Research Station
The NASA/FAA North Texas Research Station (NTX), a collaborative effort between NASA Ames Research Center and several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) organizations, supports NextGen research through field evaluations, shadow testing, simulation evaluations and data collection and analysis.
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Photo of Ames researchers conducting a simulation using the Air Traffic Control Simulation Laboratory. Laboratories
The Air Traffic Management Automation Laboratory (ATMAL), Verification and Validation (V&V), and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Simulation laboratories support air traffic management research, including the development and testing of CTAS. At the heart of the labs is a large multi-user computational environment that is reconfigurable to provide the user with the flexibility to create a simple or complex simulation environment.
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NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Official:
Last Updated: May 8, 2014

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