Features Features (News) — 22 February 2012
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Researchers Explore Commercial Space Vehicles Sharing Airspace

How might commercial space vehicles (CSVs) be part of the national airspace system? To begin asking this and related questions, a Florida Tech research team, assembled by Professor Emeritus Nat Villaire, received almost $90,000 in FAA funding, with a match from Space Florida, for work that is well underway.

Said Villaire, “Our objectives are to examine the airspace-related Federal Air Regulations and FAA air traffic control orders for compatibility with commercial space vehicle operations.”

The team’s plan is to identify related FAA orders and regulations; assist the FAA and CSV operators by identifying specific questions affecting integration; develop the important questions to resolve; and increase the depth of information necessary for routine commercial space vehicle operations. The team will build a guide for the FAA to help the organization address and analyze the issues presented by this new consideration.

Florida Tech team members include Nicole Maillet and Nicholas Kasdaglis, research assistants; John Deaton, professor of aeronautics; Samuel Durrance, professor of physics and space sciences; Daniel Kirk, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Tristan Fiedler, associate vice president for research.

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