NASA Aeronautics Budget Request Fact Sheet

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology X-plane, or QueSST, will fly over communities in the United States to demonstrate quiet supersonic. (Credits: Lockheed Martin)

FY 2022 Budget Request
($ Millions)

NASA Aeronautics conducts research to advance the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the air transportation system, reduce emissions, and sustain U.S. technological leadership in the aviation industry.

NASA is starting a new initiative in Aeronautics, the Sustainable Flight National Partnership (SFNP). This partnership aims to accomplish the aviation community’s aggressive climate change agenda and enhance America’s global leadership in aviation. NASA Aeronautics’ cost-sharing partnerships with U.S. industry will enable the next generation single-aisle transport, expected by the early 2030s, to be a game-changing, ultra-efficient and low-carbon emitting design at least 25 percent more fuel-efficient than today.

The budget request supports five programs within the Agency’s aeronautics portfolio:

  • Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP) works in close partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation community to modernize and transform the national air traffic management system. The program is on the leading edge of research on increasingly autonomous aviation systems, including innovation in the management of Unmanned Aircraft Systems traffic and other novel aviation vehicles. The program is also pioneering the integration and analysis of data to support in-time system-wide safety assurance. In FY 2022, AOSP will:
    • Conduct a simulation of initial trajectory management services to enable efficient, environmentally sustainable operations;
    • Complete simulations and flight tests of automated in-flight safety/risk assessment tools with alternate proactive and fail-safe mitigation methods; and
    • Provide data from a collaborative simulation that addresses a key barrier to assessing the need for increasingly autonomous technologies to support remotely operated vehicles.
  • Advanced Air Vehicles Program (AAVP) conducts research to meet the nation’s growing long-term civil aviation needs. The program works in close partnership with academia, industry, and other government agencies to pioneer fundamental research and to mature the most promising technologies and concepts for transition to the user community, including demonstration of technologies critical for the SFNP. In FY 2022, AAVP will:
    • Validate prediction tools in order to use them for the X-59 validation process. These tools will predict noise values measured during flight;
    • Complete a Critical Design Review of a turbofan engine to determine the impact of large-scale power extraction from both high- and low-pressure engine spools;
    • Conduct buffet testing of a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing design to help understand the aerodynamics of the concept; and
    • Complete validation testing of hover performance for Urban Air Mobility vehicle noise and prediction and assessment tools.
  • Integrated Aviation Systems Program (IASP) funds the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator Project, which will build a full-scale, ultra-efficient X-plane to pave the way to a significant reduction in the aviation industry’s carbon footprint. It also includes the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator Project that will help enable eventual over-land commercial supersonic flight. The program explores, assesses, and demonstrates the benefits of the most promising technologies at an integrated system level in relevant environments, including in flight. In FY 2022, IASP will:
    • Release a request for proposals to U.S. industry to design and build a Sustainable Flight Demonstrator;
    • Conduct design and readiness reviews for each Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration;
    • Conduct the first flight of the X-59 Low Boom Flight Demonstrator in the summer of 2022;
    • Conduct the first flight of the X-57 all-electric aircraft to better inform standards development for small aircraft that will be common in an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) environment; and
    • Conduct National Campaign simulations and operations demonstrations to support the emerging AAM industry.
  • Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) demonstrates initial feasibility of concepts supporting the discovery and development of new transformative solutions supporting the NASA Aeronautics strategy, including exploring opportunities to create a net zero-emissions aviation future. In FY 2022, TACP will:
    • Complete a Multi-disciplinary Design, Analyses, and Optimization activity, which will improve design and optimization tools; and
    • Complete three Convergence Aeronautics Solutions project activities: Solid-state Additively-manufactured Batteries for enhanced Energy, Recharging, and Safety; Sensor-based Prognostics to Avoid Runaway Reactions and Catastrophic Ignition; and Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations.
  • Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities Portfolio (AETC) manages NASA’s versatile and comprehensive portfolio of aerosciences ground test capabilities and assets essential for validating new technologies and concepts. Among these assets are subsonic, transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic wind tunnels; propulsion test facilities; and specialty tunnels at Ames Research Center(ARC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Langley Research Center (LaRC). In FY 2022, AETC will:
    • Assess the condition and health of testing capabilities at ARC , GRC, and LaRC . The review will identify equipment with a high-risk of failure due to age or maintenance; and
    • Improve integration of computational fluid dynamics and experimental testing, which will enhance testing efficacy.

FY 2020 reflects funding amounts specified in Public Law 116-93, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, as adjusted in NASA’s FY 2021 Initial Operating Plan, except Exploration Ground System Development and Exploration CoF. Table does not reflect emergency supplemental funding provided for NASA and included in the Safety, Security, and Mission Services account, as specified in Public Law 116-136, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, totaling $60.0 million. FY 2021 reflects funding amounts specified in Public Law 116-260, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, as adjusted by NASA’s FY 2021 Initial Operating Plan.