LMI has been selected by NASA to conduct research on the market and traffic management requirements for future aircraft operations at altitudes over 60,000 feet above sea level.
The study under the space agency’s Air Traffic Management-eXploration project is meant to determine the challenges and opportunities that could result from enabling aircraft operations in the Upper Class E in the National Airspace System, the consultancy said Wednesday.
NASA is working with the Federal Aviation Administration on the Upper Class E Traffic Management system envisioned to supervise high-altitude markets with capabilities surpassing the existing NAS.
In support of the upcoming ETM system, LMI and its partners Crown Consulting, Georgia Tech and GRA will seek knowledge and expertise from members of stakeholder industries, regulatory agencies and relevant manufacturers.
Jeff Wehner, director of LMI’s civilian market, explained that the effort will make sure that U.S. aviation regulations can keep up with emerging technologies.
The research initiative comes amid advances in propulsion technologies and aircraft structures that could enable near-space travel in the future.