Transportation & Exploration

Whether we are traversing our own planet Earth or the furthest reaches of our solar system, transportation and exploration rely on the performance of aerospace vehicles and the complex, large-scale safety-critical infrastructure that enables them. Since Charles Lindbergh’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, air transportation has become a major driver for global travel and commerce. We’ve launched thousands of crewed and robotic spacecraft, landed humans on the Moon, and visited every planet in our solar system with robotic probes. We have even started to discover interstellar objects that came from other star systems.

Current activities in this research area include the development of electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, advanced air mobility, noise mitigation, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development, alternative fuels, airline management, and more. The drive to go further in safe, more sustainable ways helps power our modern global economy, scientific exploration – and the human imagination.

Key Focus Areas

  • Aviation
  • Space missions
  • Aircraft operations
  • Instrumentation
  • Flight information systems
  • Infrastructure
  • Air traffic control
  • Industry analysis

Faculty Spotlight