TRACK 1 – Aviation Safety Research (max 20)
Full-Scale Fire Test Facility
The Fire Test Facility, the largest and most extensive civil aircraft fire-test facility in the world, examines the most realistic fire scenarios possible, including large jet fuel fires. Aircraft fire safety research includes both in-flight and post-crash fire testing to mitigate the effects of the fire and improve survivability. Built in 1980, the Full-Scale Fire Test Facility includes a 13,000-square-foot test cell specifically designed for fire testing with corrugated steel walls, a concrete floor, and refractory-ceramic ceiling. The facility allows for full-scale fire tests under controlled conditions. The main test cell currently houses a B707 aircraft and a DC-10 aircraft aft section connected to a 90-foot long fuselage test section.
Full-Scale Aircraft Structural Test Evaluation and Research
The FASTER lab tests full-scale fuselages under simulated in flight conditions. The lab’s research includes several issues related to the structural integrity of fuselage applications including fatigue damage; tolerance characteristics of current and emerging metallic and composite designs; performance of bonded and mechanically fastened repair technologies; assessment of conventional and emerging non-destructive inspection; and advanced structural monitoring methods. Partnering with other government agencies, industry, and academia, this facility leverages resources to provide critical data needed by both industry and the FAA to safely introduce new technologies into commercial applications.
Aviation Fuels Research Laboratory
The Aviation Fuels Research Laboratory conducts research and development of high efficiency, low emission, and low noise general aviation fuels. The lab evaluates chemical compositions and physical properties of different fuels and the relationship to engine performance behaviors. The Aviation Fuels Research Lab supports the research of safe, efficient and environment friendly aviation gasolines.
TRACK 2 – Airport research and tower siting analysis (max 20)
National Airport Pavement and Materials Research Center
The National Airport Pavement and Materials Research Center provides the ability to test the effects of high tire pressures on the pavement surface layers, pavement materials, and alternative pavement materials with the new Heavy Vehicle Simulator for Airports. Researchers conduct testing to determine the effects of temperature variation in the pavement surface layers, especially the effects of high temperatures on asphalt pavements; and improved paving materials characterization. The world's largest heavy vehicle simulator is located at the FAA’s National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center. The HVS-A is used for full-scale accelerated pavement tests to study the effects of high aircraft tire pressures on the performance of pavement surface layers, test the performance of greener/sustainable technologies and layer materials (e.g. Warm Mix Asphalt, Stone Matrix Asphalt, Recycled Asphalt Pavement), and test the effects of high temperature on asphalt pavements.
Airport Safety Visual Guidance Program
The Visual Guidance Program researches technologies to improve visual cues on airports. Researchers will demonstrate visual cues, such as LED obstruction lights, a Visual Approach Slope Indicator and windsock installation. In addition, a scale model of an airport with various depictions of projects with airfield lighting will be presented.
Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Research Facility
The FAA performs firefighting research in areas to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of firefighting equipment to increase aircraft passenger survivability during a post-crash fire. The analysis of recent aircraft accidents involving external fuel fires shows fires inside the aircraft fuselage are difficult to control with existing equipment and procedures. The Airport Technology Research and Development Branch's Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Research Program works to advance firefighting research to provide an increase in passenger survivability under the extreme harsh conditions of a post-crash fire. The ARFF R&D Program currently has several facilities and assets located at the Technical Center to accommodate research programs in improved fire-fighting technologies.
TRACK 3A – Air Traffic Management (max 15)
Go behind “The Red Brick Wall” and explore the FAA’s Air Traffic Management Automation (ATM) systems laboratories.
• The En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system provides Air Traffic Control (ATC) services in the en route domain at the Air Route Traffic Control Centers. Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) provides ATC services in the terminal domain at the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities.
• Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) provides ATC services procedurally to oceanic (international) flights in the offshore ocean domain.
Together, these automation platforms allow for thousands of flights daily to transition through the National Airspace System (NAS) within the US, as well as, internationally in a safe and expeditious manner. The laboratories are key ATM assets that are used to conduct test and evaluation on system software, hardware, operating systems, security, and network configurations for operational system releases to the field sites.
TRACK 3B – AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (MAX 15)
Go behind “The Red Brick Wall” and explore the FAA’s Air Traffic Management Automation (ATM) Decision Support Systems (DSS) laboratories.
• The Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) provides National Airspace System (NAS) real-time airspace volume and capacity metrics to all the Traffic Management Units. This allows for better aircraft flow in the NAS due to severe weather and high volume areas.
• The Time Based Flow Management (TBFM) provides Air Traffic Control metering capabilities for both arriving and departing aircraft across the en route and terminal domains.
• The Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) modernizes air traffic control tower surface movement areas and allows for more efficient ground movement areas for aircraft at gates, taxiways, and runways.
The laboratories are key ATM assets that are used to conduct test and evaluation on system software, hardware, operating systems, security, and network configurations for operational system releases to the field sites.
TRACK 4 – Cybersecurity Test Facility (CyTF) (max 30)
The U.S. aviation industry is a technologically sophisticated domain that is responsible for a large part of the U.S. economy. It is part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, which makes it a natural target for cybersecurity attacks. The FAA has made cybersecurity a priority at its Cybersecurity Test Facility. CyTF’s mission is to provide enterprise security evaluation and research services to strengthen the FAA’s information security in a research and development environment. To meet this mission, the CyTF supports FAA evaluations of cybersecurity capabilities and enhancements. The FAA has three information technology domains: mission support, research and development, and NAS operations. The CyTF supports all three.
TRACK 5 – NextGen Integration and evaluation capability (max 20)
***U.S. Citizens ONLY***
The NIEC is the FAA's research platform to explore, integrate, and evaluate NextGen concepts through simulation activities resulting in concept maturation and requirements definition. The NIEC complements the unique NAS facilities and aviation based equipment located at the Technical Center. The base components of the NIEC are from existing laboratories and can be tailored for research and simulation as well as test and evaluation. Featured in the NIEC are an Air Traffic Suite, a Cockpit Simulator, an Unmanned Aircraft System Suite, a Tower Simulation area, and a multi-purpose area. The multi-purpose area can be used to display weather data, traffic management data, operate as a simulation monitoring station or simulate an airline operations center.
TRACK 6 – Cockpit simulation facility and Flight Program Operations (max 15)
Cockpit Simulation Facility
The Cockpit Simulation Facility maintains and operates flight simulators for many common civilian aircraft in service today. All simulators operate using a common FAA level C qualification architecture. The Flight Deck Simulation Sub Group develops and tests new technologies, which enhance air traffic control ground and airborne flight information transfer and management. The work of this group focuses on communication protocols, standards, interoperability of systems, and human factors issues pertaining to the flight deck.
Flight Program Operations
The FAA Flight Program Operations is responsible for all aspects of FAA Flight Program safety, administration, operations, training, and maintenance. The Technical Center currently operates, maintains, and modifies six aircraft. These ‘flying laboratories’ are equipped and modified to support numerous FAA research, and test and evaluation projects.
TRACK 7 – Tower Siting Analysis and Research & Development Human Factors Laboratory (max 15)
Airport Facilities Terminal Integration Laboratory (AFTIL)
The AFTIL has a full-scale air traffic control tower simulation laboratory and two tower simulators that operate independently or in tandem to create a realistic air traffic control environment. The AFTIL creates three-dimensional airport models to evaluate new and existing air traffic control locations and conduct airport operational assessments and high fidelity realistic simulations for operational assessments. The FAA AFTIL facility can simulate potential sites in a realistic simulator, using photo-realistic, 3D airport models and aircraft simulations to streamline the planning process for air traffic control tower construction projects.
Research & Development Human Factors Laboratory (RDHFL)
The RDHFL is a state-of-the-art research facility designed specifically to support aviation human factors research. Its mission is to ensure safety, efficiency, and capacity as more demands are placed upon the National Airspace System. Dedicated to providing new insights into human performance, the RDHFL is on the leading edge of designing aviation systems that work by bringing people and technology together. The RDHFL is equipped with an extensive network capability to include voice communications and data networks that connect the RDHFL and other laboratories at the Technical Center.