There is a huge momentum to making urban air mobility (UAM) a reality. To support this interest, NASA is conducting research to help formulate procedures and policies to ensure the safety of UAM and other air traffic. However, this process is complicated by the fact that UAM flights are expected to operate in dense urban areas, where there is a much higher probability of risk to life and property. High quality data are needed to help formulate effective policies and regulations. However, at present, there are no such data for UAM flights, due to the fact that these flights are not yet operational. Consequently, the next best alternative to flight test data is the use of simulation-based studies. This proposal aims to develop a trajectory generation tool for UAM flights (UAM-TG). Our tool will help NASA and FAA to not only generate trajectory and state estimates of UAM flights, but also evaluate alternate UAM aircraft and operating concepts. UAM-TG will be beneficial to UAM operators and other stakeholders, as well, to verify the feasibility of their business models before commencing costly flight tests and certification.
The proposed UAM-TG tool has a number of applications to NASA:
We believe that the market for UAM-TG would include aviation authorities, aviation analysts, the aircraft manufacturing industry, UAM operators, and to some extent commercial airlines and freight operators. We also expect the insurance industry to be immensely interested in our product, due to the potential risk to life and property that goes along with UAM flights.