Crown Consulting’s Mohamad Refai Receives NASA’s highest contractor Honor Award
Mohamad Refai was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal for his contribution as the software lead for the Detect and Avoid (DAA) modeling and simulation team in support of NASA’s UAS in the NAS project. This award represents NASA’s highest honor bestowed on a contractor for their excellent support and great impact to NASA missions. Mohamad’s effort in the development of the NASA DAA software platform allowed FAA, DoD laboratories, and UAS industry to execute their own simulations and research evaluations. His service as the co-lead for the SC-228 Display and Guidance subgroup has enabled the committee to complete the Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Detect and Avoid for future UAS systems.
July 2020: Crown chosen to continue AI/ML data science work with NASA SBIR Program
Crown Consulting, Inc. (CCI) is excited to announce that NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program has chosen to continue our artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) data science work with Phase IIE (Extended) and Phase III contracts. Using AI/ML techniques, our software tool matches evolving real-time weather, air traffic control (ATC), and air traffic management (ATM) data with historical similar days and operations to drive improved near real-time decision-making systems. The advanced capabilities to be developed under this effort will provide foundational elements for digital services available to air traffic managers and airline dispatchers.
June 2020: Crown awarded NASA SBIR for Urban Air Mobility passenger experience
Crown Consulting, Inc. has been selected by NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to study the effects of ride quality on passenger acceptance of the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) concept involving advanced passenger-carrying vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The initial Phase I effort will last six months, with the potential for follow-on funding to further mature the technology. Past work has related passenger comfort to noise and vibration, but no measure has been developed relating passenger acceptance to the combination of noise, vibration, and vehicle motion. Moreover, novel electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designs can be expected to have different motion dynamics from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, the basis of past studies. Phase I, which includes developing a plan for a Phase II effort to measure the effects of ride quality with human subjects in a physical simulation environment, will create a framework to fill this knowledge gap. Crown Consulting has teamed with Quantitative Scientific Solutions (QS-2) for this project to provide analytics expertise. Crown’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Tom Edwards, emphasized that this work will enable resolution of a major barrier to successful implementation of UAM.
May 2020: Dr. Ruben Del Rosario elected as a Fellow of ASME!
Crown Consulting Inc. (CCI) is proud to announce the election of Dr. Ruben Del Rosario, Senior Director for Aerospace Systems, as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in May 2020. A Fellow is one who has attained a membership grade of distinction and has been responsible for significant engineering achievements and contributions. Dr. Del Rosario’s election follows a long and storied career at the NASA Glenn Research Center where he rose to the position of Director of Aeronautics. His world class expertise in advanced propulsion technologies and electrification of propulsion provided critical direction to NASA Glenn’s effort supporting NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate as it invested millions of dollars in advanced propulsion and pivoted towards enabling electric powered air vehicles for the burgeoning urban air mobility industry. Dr. Del Rosario retired from NASA in October 2019 and joined CCI soon thereafter where he provides expertise and leadership for our team as we position the company to be an industry leader for integration of advanced air mobility (AAM) technologies, aircraft and airspace operations. Dr. Del Rosario is now a member of a small group of individuals within ASME that will help to guide the organization through breathtaking advances and changes in our nation’s aviation system.
December 2019: Crown joins GUTMA!
Crown is excited to be a member of GUTMA: www.gutma.org!
The Global UTM Association (GUTMA) is a non-profit consortium of worldwide Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) stakeholders. Its purpose is to foster the safe, secure and efficient integration of drones in national airspace systems. Its mission is to support and accelerate the transparent implementation of globally interoperable UTM systems.
Crown's Subject Matter Experts will be actively participating in GUTAM working processes which will enable implementation of UTM across the world and US.
August 2019: NASA Commends DRAW Team
The ATD-3/Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW) team successfully completed its fifth Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) simulation in the NASA Ames Traffic Control (ATC) simulation laboratory in early August 2019. A major achievement of HITL simulation was the integration of the NASA DRAW technology with the latest version of the FAA Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) tool.
DRAW computes conflict-free routes around weather and offers a trial planning capability that presents the weather conflict information and schedule impacts to TMCs in real time.
The DRAW software team consists of staff from USRA, Crown, and MSAG. One of the NASA lead researchers expressed tremendous appreciation for the efforts of the software team: “The ATD-3/DRAW software development team did excellent job for our HITL simulation evaluation study. Because of their hard work and painstaking attention to the details, the DRAW team was able to successfully complete the HITL simulation, which was one of the ATD-3 project’s major milestones. DRAW team is fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated software development team.”
26 March 2019: Crown Supports Significant NCDOT UAS Integration Pilot Program
Earlier today, an announcement was made in Raleigh of a partnership between UPS and Matternet to launch the first routine UAS medical package delivery revenue service in the United States under the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). This announcement combined with the launch of a revenue delivery service marks some of the most significant breakthroughs to date in applying UAS technology. UPS is one of the largest cargo airlines in the world and its entry into this market signals a coming expansion of UAS in routine delivery in the U.S.
Crown Consulting is proud to have contributed to this path breaking advance in service delivery. For the past year, Crown has supported NCDOT in its development of the foundations for UAS medical package revenue delivery service as part of the FAA’s UAS IPP. The UPS-Matternet partnership will operate a revenue VLOS route that traverses the WakeMed Hospital campus in Raleigh with portions of the route involving flight over pedestrians and an active city street. To set the groundwork for this service, Crown’s engineers assisted NCDOT and its partners in crafting waiver documentation, conducting risk analysis, drafting mitigation plans, and developing safety cases.
As the NCDOT moves forward in instituting even more challenging uses for UAS, including BVLOS missions, Crown will continue to support the agency’s initiatives. We welcome the opportunity to apply our vast background in aviation – experience that encompasses contributions to commercial airspace operations, ground and airborne automation, and the development of Urban Air Mobility concepts.
15 June 2018: Crown Wins New UAS Contract
Crown Consulting, Inc. was selected for the UAS specialized support contract with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Officially titled the Unmanned Aerial Systems Specialized Limited Services Contract (UAS SLC), the contract will support NCDOT’s Division of Aviation in a wide variety of aviation-related projects, with particular emphasis on drone operations. North Carolina endeavors to become a national leader in the rapidly expanding drone industry. Crown’s approach will engage in shaping and informing NC DOT’s strategic roadmaps and ConOps for developing a statewide UTM system and integrating UAS operations across the department. With North Carolina’s recent selection as an FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program site, the stage is set for rapid progress and ground-breaking flight operations. Crown is excited to play a key part in the state’s ambitious effort to develop drone technologies and flight capabilities.
Dr. Tom Edwards, as Crown’s UAS Practice Lead, along with Mr. Tom Davis, Crown’s NASA Business VP, spearheaded this effort and positioned Crown to provide a valuable offer for NCDOT. Tom Edwards and Tom Davis both bring decades of research and management experience on the forefront of aviation research working with government and industry, serving in senior leadership roles at NASA Ames Research Center. Crown provides UAS support to both NASA and the FAA. Our teams actively contribute to and lead research for UAS, UTM, and Urban Air Mobility (UAM), and Crown specialists support the FAA UAS in the NAS program with COA, policy, and rulemaking. We are pleased to add NCDOT as a new client and to diversify our experience and contributions to the UAS ecosystem.