NASA seeks industry partners for its new urban air mobility challenge

The US Federal Business Opportunities website ( reports that NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) vision is to revolutionize mobility within metropolitan areas by enabling a safe, efficient, convenient, affordable, and accessible air transport system for UAM capable vehicle. NASA is committed to working with the UAM community to identify and address the key challenges ahead.

In order to most effectively advance UAM, NASA is planning to host a series of UAM ecosystem-wide challenges to promote public confidence in UAM safety and facilitate community-wide learning while capturing the public’s imagination. NASA anticipates hosting the first of these Grand Challenges, GC-1, in late 2020. The GC-1 will challenge community participants to address foundational UAM ecosystem-wide safety and integration barriers in a robust and relevant environment.

NASA is seeking highly motivated industry participants with the desire of achieving commercial operating capabilities. The GC-1 would provide these participants the opportunity to demonstrate fieldable systems in a UAM representative environment. The GC-1 is focusing on demonstrating the safety and integration of UAM capable vehicles and Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.

To help communicate the goals for the GC-1, the role that NASA will play, and the expectations from participating partners, NASA will be hosting an Industry Day on November 1 & 2, 2018 in Pike Place Market Area, Seattle, Washington.

The goals of the Industry Day include:

  • Communicate goals of Grand Challenge Series
  • Communicate GC-1participation requirements, expectations and schedule to help inform industry business planning, research and development, and participation decisions.
  • Provide NASA and industry with an opportunity for an interchange regarding the plans, objectives, and execution strategy for GC-1.
  • Allow NASA to present the potential benefits of participation in GC-1 and to understand the industry’s and community’s decision tradespace for participation in GC-1.
  • Allows NASA the opportunity to introduce government processes and relevant NASA points of contact.
  • Serve as an opportunity for networking, partnership development, and development of teaming arrangements amongst potential participants.

Addition to this special notice, NASA will be requesting responses through a Request For Information (RFI) at a later time. This RFI is anticipated to be released at the end of September or early October.

Who Should Attend: Industry aircraft manufacturers, industry sensor manufacturers, industry communications providers, FAA UAS Test Sites, airspace management service providers, other government agencies, and others interested in testing specific UAM technologies.

Benefits of Attending: Learn first-hand and ask questions about NASA’s proposed GC Series, its participation requirements, and the associated RFI along with engaging the NASA team and networking with other potential GC-1 participants and attending UAM community members.

Registration for this event opens on September 14th, 2018 and closes on October 19th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PST or when all available slots have been filled. Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately.

To register please utilize the registration site at

Solicitation Number: 80AFRC18UCAT

Deadline for responses: 19 October 2018

Responsible authority: NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

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