IUCRC Phase I The Pennsylvania State University: Center for Autonomous Air Mobility and Sensing (CAAMS)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The world's aviation industry is moving towards autonomous air mobility and sensing, where new developments in artificial intelligence, energy systems, aerodynamics, structures and materials, advanced manufacturing, and multidisciplinary design are enabling new air vehicle concepts and new ways of using aviation in the daily transport of information, people, and cargo. The Center for Autonomous Air Mobility and Sensing (CAAMS) will produce new fundamental engineering knowledge, will develop new technologies, and will train a new workforce needed by pooling the technical know-how of America's leading engineering research universities with innovative companies ranging from startups to long-established leaders in the aerospace industry.

CAAMS research focuses on improving air vehicle performance, sustainability, safety systems, manufacturability, and reliability by integrating research in traditional aerospace fields such as control, aerodynamics, structures and materials, communication, and energy storage with new disciplines including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. Penn State's contributions to CAAMS include test facilities (flight, wind tunnels, simulators, and labs) and research specialization in acoustics and noise, advanced manufacturing, design, human factors and human/autonomy interaction, adverse weather, machine learning, and vehicle systems. The existing Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence at Penn State provides further opportunity for significant synergies in research and workforce development.

Autonomous air mobility and sensing includes a broad range of vehicle concepts, integrated subsystems, supporting infrastructure, traffic management tools, and applications that exploit increasingly autonomous capabilities in aviation. These autonomous systems have the potential to improve safety and reliability, reduce costs, and enable new missions of national and global importance. The global market for autonomous aircraft is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2040, and CAAMS will be a key asset in enhancing US competitiveness. Center research will support dozens of students every year, giving them hands-on experience with advanced autonomous systems and direct understanding of industry perspectives and needs.

Center outcomes will be broadly disseminated through archival publications, presentations at engineering and computer science conferences, and technical interchanges with aviation industry members. A single center-wide data repository will be established by the lead site with a password-protected web portal that can be accessed by all center industry members. Project data will be made available to center members annually and will be made available upon request to the public two years after the center fiscal year has ended.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date4/15/223/31/27


  • National Science Foundation: $96,313.00


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