FAA ASSURE A53 Advanced Materials Investigation: Composite Materials Analysis for UAS and AAM/UAM

Request for feedback and participation in a survey related to advanced materials used in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Advanced Air Mobility Designs

Wichita State University (WSU) and Mississippi State University (MSU), part of the FAA ASSURE Center of Excellence, are currently working on a research project to identify the type of composite, additively manufactured, and other advanced material systems used in the construction of current and future Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft.

The research program aims to identify the major differences between the use and application of advanced materials in UAS/AAM vehicles compared to traditional materials and manufacturing methods in 14 CFR Part 23,25,27 aircraft. For example, current certification guidelines developed by the FAA are typically intended for traditional continuous fiber reinforced thermosetting composite materials and may not be appropriate for novel UAS and AAM advanced materials. Therefore, identifying these new material systems and manufacturing methods would help define future certification requirements.

WSU and MSU teams will conduct an extensive literature review and an industry-based survey 
addressing the above statements to collect the data necessary to support the research effort. Due to 
the novel and rapid technological advancements in the UAS and AAM community with limited 
information available in the open literature, there is a need for industry collaboration to help answer 
some of the primary research questions for this research program. This collaboration will be 
beneficial to the industry since it will help establish the foundation for future research efforts and 
certification guidelines as UAS and AAM vehicles are being designed with new advanced material 
types and manufacturing methods. 

This collaboration will help FAA and industry by identifying technical gaps in the current standard methods on the qualification and certification of advanced material systems. In addition, this data will help the FAA define future certification requirements for AAM and UAS vehicle manufacturers.

The survey will be conducted using a market engagement software called New Product Blueprinting and is intended to take 1-1.5 hours to complete. It does not seek proprietary information; and the data obtained will be kept confidential, and only material types and manufacturing methods will be associated with generic AAM or UAS classes. In addition, the acquired information will not be tied to a specific company or individual. 

If you are able to participate, please complete the form below to receive additional information. WSU and MSU research teams would like to thank you in advance for your help and participation 
in this survey.

For questions or additional information, contact Luis Gomez (luismanuel@niar.wichita.edu) or Matthew Roberson (mroberson@aci.msstate.edu).