Domain Task Forces Making Progress
By Dan Dumbacher|March 2023
It’s been a busy year of progress for the Domain Task Forces. Since launching the Domain approach, several groups of incredibly talented and experienced AIAA members have been working together to identify and address the priorities for several specific technology areas within the three AIAA Domains: Aeronautics, Aerospace R&D, and Space. The Domain framework is harnessing the treasure trove of energy and ideas across the AIAA community and driving action toward outcomes. During the recent 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum, we heard updates from three task forces on their progress.
The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Task Force was led by Virginia Stouffer, Transformational Technologies. The group began its work at the 2022 AIAA AVIATION Forum and wrapped up the first phase of its work at 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum. An ecosystem has arisen around the production of AAM technologies, but the group believes transformation on this scale requires multiple areas of effort, and many gaps in knowledge remain. In its recommendations, the task force stated that AIAA needs to have a role in future outcomes of producing more time-efficient transportation modes and use of unpiloted and autonomous aircraft. The task force recommends an alignment of efforts across AIAA to promote AAM, including addressing testing, certification, standards, and skills.
The Certification Task Force was launched during the 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum as one of many AAM follow-on activities. Led by Nick Lappos, Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin, and Joseph Baker, U.S. Air Force, this task force will jointly emphasize certification considerations for AAM hardware and airspace integration of the next generation of technology and operations.
The Carbon Emissions and Sustainability Task Force is led by Ellen Ebner, The Boeing Company. The group is championing AIAA’s role in enabling industry success with reducing the impact of aviation on climate change. As the group continues its work, it will prioritize engagement with key leaders and technical committees across the Institute. We look forward to hearing its Phase One recommendations during the 2023 AIAA AVIATION Forum, 12–16 June, San Diego, California.
The Cislunar Ecosystem Task Force is led by Dennis Paul, The Aerospace Corporation. Its focus is on developing a sustainable master plan for the cislunar ecosystem enabled by strong contributions across the space and adjacent communities, which could help rationalize and prioritize public and private investment decisions. The group aims to coordinate efforts from government, aerospace, adjacent industries, and supporting institutions to promote a permanent, sustainable human presence off-world between low Earth orbit and the lunar surface. We expect to hear more from this task force during ASCENDxTexas, 29–30 March, Houston, Texas.
In addition to these recent updates, the Space Traffic Management Task Force continues to make strides. Led by Sandy Magnus, AstroPlanetview, LLC, this group is working to support policymakers with relevant technical perspectives and advocacy for effective U.S. governance of space traffic management and coordination. The task force published its “Satellite Orbital Safety Best Practices Guide” in September 2022 and hosted a panel discussion during 2022 ASCEND in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We are encouraged by all the progress made across the three Domains, and we are especially grateful for the visionary leadership of the Domain Leads: Aeronautics/Ming Chang, Aerospace R&D/Scott Fouse, and Space/Julie Van Kleeck, as well as the task force leads and their many members.
Importantly, the task forces are seeking to expand and diversify their memberships, especially by including AIAA members who are not already serving in leadership roles. We know this important work will benefit from additional viewpoints and inputs.