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+ Transformative Aeronautics
   Concepts Program (TACP)

ARMD Strategic Implementation Plan
Read about ARMD's vision for aeronautical research aimed at the next 25 years and beyond.
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The Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) cultivates multi-disciplinary, revolutionary concepts to enable aviation transformation.

Although TACP's focus is on sharply focused research, the program provides flexibility for innovators to explore technology feasibility and provide the knowledge base for radical transformation. The program solicits and encourages revolutionary concepts, creates the environment for researchers to experiment with new ideas, performs ground and small-scale flight tests, allows failures and learns from them, and drives rapid turnover into potential future concepts.

NASA has indentified substantial aeronautics-research challenges that include global demand for mobility, significant energy and sustainability changes, and ongoing air-travel affordability. TACP harnesses convergence in aeronautics and non-aeronautics innovation to help develop next-generation aviation technologies to address and overcome these problems.

Further, TACP will devote time and attention to computational and experimental tools critical to providing paradigm-shifting analysis and enlarging experimental capabilities. TACP research is organized to aggressively engage both the traditional aeronautics community and non-traditional partners.

EVENT: University Leadership Initiative Vendor's Forum

Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Projects

Earth Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS)
This project conducts short-duration activities to establish early-stage concepts and technology feasibility for high-potential solutions. Internal teams propose ideas for overcoming key barriers associated with large-scale aeronautics problems. The focus is on merging traditional aeronautics disciplines with advancements driven by the non-aeronautics world to make possible new capabilities in commercial aviation.

CAS teams will conduct initial feasibility studies, perform experiments, try out new ideas, identify failures, and try again. At the end of that cycle, a review determines whether the developed solutions have met their goals, established initial feasibility, and identified real-world potential. During the reviews, the most promising capabilities will be considered for further development by other NASA aeronautics programs or by direct transfer to the aviation community.

In a dynamic environment of new ideas, even if activities do not proceed, significant value will be gleaned from the knowledge that will be widely disseminated among the aeronautics community at large.

A computer image of a fundamental large eddy simulation analysis of flow separation following a backward-facing step. Transformational Tools and Technologies (TTT)
This project advances state-of-the-art computational and experimental tools and technologies that are vital to aviation applications in the six strategic thrusts. The project develops new computer-based tools, models, and associated scientific knowledge that will provide first-of-a-kind capabilities to analyze, understand, and predict performance for a wide variety of aviation concepts. These revolutionary tools will be applied to accelerate NASA’s research and the community’s design and introduction of advanced concepts. Examples include the development and validation of new computational tools that are used to predict the complex turbulent airflow around vehicles and within propulsion systems, ultimately leading to greater abilities to predict future vehicle performance in flight. The Project also explores technologies that are broadly-critical to advancing ARMD strategic outcomes, such as the understanding of new types of strong and lightweight materials, innovative controls techniques, and experimental methods. Such technologies will support and enable concept development and benefits assessment across multiple ARMD programs and disciplines.
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BWB in flight. Leading Edge Aero Research for NASA (LEARN)
Through awards to university and industry teams, this project explores the creation of novel concepts and processes with the potential to create next-generation capabilities in aeronautics research. LEARN incorporates a competitive review process of the external teams' proposals to develop integrated solutions for complex technical problems captured in NASA's aeronautics-research thrusts, followed by short-duration activities for feasibility assessment. Follow-on phases of the most promising ideas are also funded.

With this process, NASA funds help catalyze external investments toward solving pressing aviation-related problems. Like the CAS Project, LEARN's goal is to identify and mature new concepts and then infuse the most promising ones into the ARMD research portfolio for further development. Developing new ideas – whether they originate inside or outside NASA – are a critical part of NASA Aeronautics' approach to enabling transformation in aviation.
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TACP in the News
NASA Studying Volcanic Ash Engine Test Results
Electric Propulsion Paired with Digital Control May Usher in a New Era of Flight
NASA, Partners Test Engine Health Monitoring System
NASA Funds Five Teams to Study Inventive Ideas for Aviation
NASA, Air Force and Industry Team Up to Improve Flying Safety


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NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Editor: Karen Rugg
NASA Official: Tony Springer
Last Updated: March 2, 2016
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