Astro Aerospace has been accepted to participate in the NASA Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge.

From NASA’s website: “The vision to revolutionize mobility within metropolitan areas is one of the most exciting frontiers in modern aviation. NASA remains committed to supporting accessible air transport systems for passengers and cargo by working with the UAM community to identify and address the key challenges ahead.”

Astro Aerospace is most known for their development of the Elroy, an autonomous 2-person eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) passenger drone. The Elroy is designed with densely populated areas in mind, and is considered environmentally friendly with zero emissions and low noise.  After successfully completing flight trials with the Elroy in late 2018, Astro Aerospace is ready to take on the NASA UAM Grand Challenge.

Astro Aero Elroy Interior

The Elroy, an autonomous eVTOL passenger drone capable of seating two.

The Grand Challenge itself will be a series of tests, of which the first (GC-1) will begin in 2020. According to NASA’s own website, the first challenge that Astro Aerospace and others in the UAM community accepted will be to “promote public confidence in UAM safety and facilitate community-wide learning while capturing the public’s imagination.”

Why it’s important: Astro Aerospace’s entry into the NASA UAM Grand Challenge, along with those of all other participants, is just one step in NASA’s goal “to ‘raise the water level’ for the entire UAM community”. The Grand Challenge itself is an important channel to raise awareness and support for developing a widespread UAM ecosystem and market. Astro Aerospace’s and others’ designs in the Grand Challenge will help provide the innovation and competition necessary to create a stir in the UAM industry.

Sources // Globe Newswire, NASA, Astro Aerospace

Posted by Naish Gaubatz

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