Mapping Advanced Air Mobility to Mature Flight Operations

Dr. Chester Dolph
Aeronautics Systems Engineering
NASA Langley Research Center


Integrating autonomous air taxis, package delivery aircraft, and drones in urban airspace is wondrous for human convenience, but what are the steps needed for research and development of an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft to ensure safety and reliability? This talk explores the technical challenges, onboard autonomy requirements, air traffic management needs, uncharted regulatory barriers, and consumer trust needs to enable AAM transportation. Keynote will include an overview of NASA’s AAM project and related ongoing work, concluding with discussions on short-term and long-term milestones towards enabling widespread AAM operations.

Biography of the speaker
Dr. Chester Dolph joined NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in the Aeronautics Systems Engineering Branch (ASEB) in January 2017 to work in the Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) group as an Aerospace Engineer.  During his tenure at NASA, he has authored or co-authored 35 publications on the topics of SUAS autonomy, vision-based detection and tracking systems, and autonomous AAM aircraft landing. In 2015-2016, he was a research engineer with the National Institute of Aerospace, where he developed Sense and Avoid algorithms and geolocation algorithms for SUAS. In 2013-2014, he worked in the Computational Vision Lab within the Electromagnetic and Sensors Research Branch at LaRC on airport runway identification using computer vision for landing aircraft. He was a member of Old Dominion University’s Vision Lab from 2013-2022. Dr. Dolph holds a B.S and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Old Dominion University and a B.S. in Biology from the College of William & Mary.