NASA awards OSU millions of dollars and names it lead institution for strategic research initiative

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A team of OSU researchers aims to improve real-time weather forecasting of low-level winds and turbulence to improve safety for drones like the one shown here in an OSU test flight.

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STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – NASA has honored an Oklahoma State University team of researchers with the University Leadership Initiative Award and millions of dollars in funding.

“OSU is one of just five university teams to receive the honor and a share of $32.8 million in funding over the next four years to address some of NASA’s strategic research initiatives,” an OSU news release states.

OSU, the lead institution for the initiative, will receive $5.2 million. The other awarded teams include Stanford University, the University of Delaware, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of South Carolina, according to the news release.

“Each of these teams is working on important problems that definitely will help break down barriers in ways that will benefit the U.S. aviation industry,” said John Cavolowsky, director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program in Washington, D.C.

OSU’s team, made up of faculty members and students from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, aspires to bring progress to real-time weather forecasting of low-level winds and turbulence in both rural and urban environments. The team hopes to make safety improvements for Unmanned Aircraft systems (UAS) flying in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations, according to the news release.

The University Leadership Initiative also seeks to bring together NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) and American universities renowned for research so they can bring forth new, innovative ideas.

“The challenge our team is addressing will have an impact across a wide range of aircraft, not only helping advance the integration of drones and urban air taxis into the national airspace, but also increasing the safety of air transportation and airport operations for all aircraft from airliners and general aviation aircraft alike,” said Jamey Jacob, an OSU professor participating in the project.

OSU’s team also includes members from members from the University of Oklahoma, the University of Nebraska, the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Vigilant Aerospace Systems Inc. AirXOS and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

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