Looking Back at How NASA Looked Ahead during 2013

Focusing on the future was the dominant theme of a busy year for NASA’s aeronautical innovators during 2013.
A new strategic vision that will guide the agency’s aviation research
efforts now and into the future was adopted even as world class
research continued at NASA centers across the nation to make air travel
ever more efficient and environmentally friendly.
“This has been a truly incredible year for us as our entire team
continued making exciting technical advances that show great promise for
positively impacting our nation’s economy and job growth,” said Jaiwon
Shin, NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics.
“The future of aviation in this country is going to be even more
remarkable thanks to the plans made and work we accomplished during
2013,” Shin said.
Here are highlights of what NASA Aeronautics has done during the past year to improve aviation.
Based on a fresh look at the future of aviation – as well as global
trends in technology, the environment and economics – NASA Aeronautics
chartered a new strategic vision for its aviation research programs.
The updated vision is designed to ensure that, through NASA’s
aeronautics research, the United States will maintain its leadership in
the sky, and sustain aviation so that it remains a key economic driver
and cultural touchstone for the nation.
What this means for the flying public is that NASA’s contributions to
aviation will be even more relevant as ongoing research leads to new
aircraft, improved mobility and safety, less impact on the environment,
and an all-around better experience in the sky.
More Efficient Highways in the Sky
NASA is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and
others to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system with the
help of new technology, software and procedures – an effort known as
The technology behind one such tool, which was transferred to the FAA
during 2013, is intended to help controllers determine the best time to
release an airliner from its gate so it can taxi, takeoff and join a
specific slot in the traffic flow overhead.
Known as the Precision Departure Release Capability, it is intended
to work with other traffic management tools and will help controllers
react more quickly when conditions change because of weather or other
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