Hovakimyan briefs congressional leaders on autonomous aviation research


Julia Park

Naira Hovakimyan with colleagues from other universities
Naira Hovakimyan with researchers from Georgia Tech, Florida State University, and University of Central Florida. 

Nearly 70 Congressional staffers engaged in a briefing on Capitol Hill last month by recent awardees of the NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI), including MechSE Professor Naira Hovakimyan.

ULI is an innovative, cross-cutting program where NASA sets a basic problem set, solicits proposal and make awards to universities to research, work and solve real problems with their partners in industry. The current focus is on ultra-efficient transport, future airspace, high-speed commercial flight, and advanced air mobility.

Hovakimyan, one of just three women from among the 23 PIs awarded ULI funding over the last five years, presented her research team's work on “Robust and Resilient Autonomy for Advanced Air Mobility,” which aims to integrate and validate various technologies in the domains of learning-enabled safe autonomy and fault diagnosis and reachability analysis. Their ULI project work focuses on a robust and resilient flexible autonomy framework for flying cars. Watch Hovakimyan's interview on this topic earlier this year:

To see footage of Hovakimyan’s real-world demos of her group’s work, check out her YouTube channel. The next round of her Learjet and F-16 deployments are planned for 2024.