John Bluck
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000

June Malone
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL


Ridding helicopters of irritating “bop-bop” noises during approach to
landing is one of many innovations that NASA will recognize during a
p.m. CDT, May 18 ceremony in the Marriott Hotel, Huntsville, AL, to
1999 aerospace advances.

NASA will honor research teams from across the agency and industry
have developed outstanding aeronautics and space transportation
technologies last year that are “turning goals into realities.” Six of
numerous awards will be presented to scientists from NASA Ames Research
Center, in California’s Silicon Valley, and their research partners.

“We have shown that we can eliminate the most annoying ‘bop-bop’ noise,
to ‘blade slap,’ that occurs on all tiltrotors and helicopters when
are approaching landings,” said Short Haul Civil Tiltrotor project
John Zuk, of NASA Ames. Tiltrotor aircraft are airplanes that, like
helicopters, take off and land vertically, but whose rotors/engines
into a horizontal position for horizontal flight. “We demonstrated
noise reduction on tiltrotor blades in the world’s largest wind tunnel
Ames, and we expect the improvement to be used on future tiltrotors.”

The award for reducing helicopter (rotorcraft) and tiltrotor noise will
shared by NASA Ames and NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.
“These awards recognize NASA and industry teams for their valuable
contributions to the aerospace industry and the public,” said Ames
Associate Director for Aerospace Michael Dudley.

Other Ames-related award-winning projects include a test of high
temperature materials that engineers say is a step towards
reentry of aircraft and spacecraft into Earth’s atmosphere; and
measures to
counter airplane pilot fatigue.

Ames also will receive awards for a computer tool to improve airport
efficiency; and a new supercomputer airplane design method that rapidly
suggests design improvements to engineers. Ames will share another
with NASA Langley for a system to safely allow aircraft to laterally
closer together.

“We studied pilot fatigue, and ways of detecting it during aircraft
flight,” said David Neri, research psychologist at NASA Ames and team
leader of the Fatigue Countermeasures Project. “We also made
suggestions to
the Federal Aviation Administration on crew duty and rest regulations,
we worked to transfer our findings to industry,” he added.

Another Ames winner is the Collaborative Arrival Planner (CAP), a
system that provides airlines with very accurate estimates of aircraft
arrival times. The software also provides air carriers with air traffic
management information such as how many airplanes can land per hour at
given airport and which runways are in use.

“The arrival information allows air carriers to make better informed
decisions about managing their fleets,” said CAP Project Manager
Carr of NASA Ames. “For example, during bad weather, accurate arrival
estimates enable airlines to avoid costly aircraft diversions,” Carr
“Recent studies by several airlines indicate that the average cost of a
single diversion can be as high as $150,000,” he added. American
and Delta Airlines are using CAP at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport, TX.

Founded in 1997, the awards program recognizes advances in three
categories, Global Civil Aviation, Revolutionary Technology Leaps and
Advanced Space Transportation. Ten subcategories honor nominees whose
represents exceptional achievements related to health, safety, the
environment, cost reduction and technical innovation.

Other awards from across NASA and the aerospace industry include those
aviation emissions reduction, next generation experimental aircraft,
cost access to space and other categories. A complete overview of the
awards, details about the research and a full list of the participating
NASA Centers and industry organizations to be honored is on the
Internet at
the “Turning Goals into Reality” web site at: