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Technical Areas of Research


In 1990, the United States Congress authorized the FAA to award grants and cooperative agreements for research, engineering and development activities, and an example is shown below. The program, entitled FAA Aviation Research Grants Program, is administered by the Acquisition and Grants Group.

Catastrophic Failure Prevention encourages the development of technologies and methods that can assess risk and prevent the defects that can cause the catastrophic failure of aircraft


Aviation Research Grants

Supports research in areas necessary for the long-term growth of civil aviation. Specific research areas include air traffic control automation, aviation applications of advanced technologies, human factors in highly automated environments, and aircraft safety.

The FAA has identified the following technical areas of research for which it is particularly interested in receiving proposals. These areas are crucial to the FAA's overall mission of ensuring capacity, efficiency, and safety.

  • Human Factors and Aviation Medicine
  • Environment and Energy
  • Aircraft Safety Technology
  • Airports
  • Communications, Navigation and Surveillance
  • Aviation Weather
  • Capacity and Air Traffic Control Technology
  • Systems Science/Operations Research
  • Commercial Space Transportation



  1. Development of a dripless bubbler with Iowa State University that provides immersion quality ultrasonic inspections for commercial aircraft.

  2. An analytical and experimental study by Drexel University on the evolution of widespread fatigue damage in aircraft fuselage curved panels.


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