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AWARDS
Ames Selected as a Co-winner for 2021 NASA Government Invention of the Year Award

Screenshot of the NASCENT interface


NASA's Ames Research Center was selected by the NASA general counsel as a co-winner of the 2021 NASA Government Invention of the Year award for our National Airspace System Constraint Evaluation and Notification Tool, or NASCENT, technology.

The agencywide award was made at the recommendation of the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board. Every year, NASA issues two prestigious Invention of the Year awards: Government Invention of the Year and Commercial Invention of the Year.

Congratulations to the NASCENT team for this recognition by the agency and its use in the national airspace. The co-winning invention provides evaluation of weather avoidance routes that save more than a user-specified number of minutes of wind-corrected flying time savings, for all the 20 air route traffic control centers in the national airspace system. The system is designed to safely remove inefficiencies in the air traffic operations, to reduce delays, and save fuel to benefit the traveling public and the environment.

Air traffic managers and flight operators desire a continuous search engine that provides them with safe opportunities to save time and fuel. This invention provides that functionality for suggesting weather and constrained airspace avoidance routes. The proposed advisory routes are free of conflicts with weather, horizontally and vertically, help reduce overall sector congestion, and avoid any Federal Aviation Administration-designated special use/activity areas.

All of this is done while providing suggestions that account for safety and historically used routes to facilitate controller approval. The functionality is implemented according to the current FAA operating procedures, so there is no added cost to the national air transportation system infrastructure.

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Last Updated: September 2, 2021

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