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Opportunity for USA Student Teams at IHEs to Compete
in the Development of Smart Aviation Technology

2022 FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - National Institute of Aerospace

Deadline Date:

01/20/22 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Opportunity for USA student teams at IHEs to participate in a competition to develop smart technologies for application in the aviation field. The competition is intended to stimulate university students to design innovative solutions to issues related to transportation technology while improving the human aspect of the traveler’s experience. Projects will benefit airspace system users in the areas of commercial air transportation, general aviation, emerging operations, and traveling public.

2022 FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition

This year’s FAA Challenge focuses on Smart Connected Aviation, providing undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to design, build, and test smart technology that has the ability to improve traveler’s transportation experiences and the efficiency of the national aviation ecosystem.

The FAA is developing a vision for an info-centric National Airspace System (NAS). Full connectivity will come from infrastructure supporting NAS operations that enable all systems to share data. With all types of devices connected to the Internet (known as the Internet of Things [IoT]) and advances in wireless technology, nearly everything can be connected from nearly any location at any time.

The FAA is using this competition to stimulate and advance innovation in aviation research; promote the development of a robust aviation workforce to support a growing and evolving aerospace system; develop a pipeline to fill current and projected shortages via partnerships with academia and industry; and drive a passion for aviation in today’s youth of all ages and backgrounds. The FAA intends to incentivize university-level students at accredited United States-based colleges and universities to think creatively in developing solutions to transportation technology challenges while addressing the human factors aspects of the traveler’s experience, and to share those innovations with the broader community.

Through the Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition, FAA seeks innovative ideas from the academic community that take advantage of a future info-centric NAS (including connected aircraft) that will benefit NAS users in the following four user categories:

  • Commercial Air Transportation
  • General Aviation
  • Emerging Operations
  • Traveling Public

Teams should address one of the four aforementioned categories. For details about each of these categories, see the Guidelines ("Challenge Overview") listed in Pre-Application Information below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200072

Number of Grants:

One winning team will be selected for each of the four categories.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Four (4) $10,000 cash prizes will be offered – one (1) for each category winner. An additional $15,000 will be offered to the best overall submission.
- A travel reimbursement of up to $6,000 will be awarded to each of the four finalist teams to help offset the cost of traveling to New Jersey to demonstrate their concepts. Student participants of each finalist team will receive certificates.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students at accredited United States-based colleges and universities. Teams may include senior capstone students, clubs, multi-university or multi-disciplinary students. Teams are encouraged to collaborate and work in concert with industry partners.

- Student team members must have been enrolled in a United States-based college or university for at least one semester (or quarterly equivalent) during the 2021-2022 academic year.
- Team members, including all faculty advisors and students, must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
- The designated lead academic institution must submit the application on behalf of the team.
- Each member of the team must meet the eligibility criteria.
- An individual may join more than one team.
- Team sizes may vary widely. The core team must contain, at a minimum, one faculty advisor from the lead academic institution who has worked on the project and two students who can be available to present the final project at the culminating event in late June 2022.
- Eligibility is limited to students from colleges and universities in the United States. (Foreign universities are not eligible to participate in the FAA Challenge.)

The team and/or team members may not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of employment (this includes co-op students with civil servant status).

Team members may not be an employee of the DOT, including but not limited to the FAA.

Pre-Application Information:

Project Plan Proposals: Due by 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, January 20, 2022

Timeline:
- October 31, 2021: Expression of Interest (EOI) Deadline (Optional)
- November 15, 2021: Q&A Session Webinar
- January 20, 2022: Project Plan Proposal Deadline
- February 28, 2022: Teams Notified of Selection Status
- May 8, 2022: Technical Paper Deadline
- Late June 2022: Presentation Files Deadline
- Late June 2022: 2022 FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition Forum
*Unless otherwise stated, all deadlines must be met by 11:59 PM ET on the date specified.

Process:
1. Thoroughly review the Challenge guidelines.
2. Find a qualified advisor and a diverse team of students.
3. Ensure that your team meets the eligibility requirements.
4. Develop and submit a project plan proposal by the deadline.
5. Based on a review of the project plans, four finalist teams will advance to the next phase of the competition to further develop their proposed concept.
6. Finalist teams will be responsible for submission of a technical paper and poster presentation, due early May 2022.
7. Finalist teams will be invited to New Jersey to the 2022 FAA Challenge Forum. to demonstrate their concepts in a face-to-face presentation/design review in front of FAA subject matter experts in late June 2022.

There may be an opportunity during the Forum for teams to present their concept to a wider public audience of aviation and aeronautic professionals and/or local high school students.

Finalist teams will also be invited to an awards ceremony where the prizes will be presented to the lead university of the winning teams.

Guidelines: https://faachallenge.nianet.org/2022-challenge-guidelines/

FAQs: https://faachallenge.nianet.org/faq/

Deliverable Submissions: https://faachallenge.nianet.org/2022-deliverable-submissions/

Dates and deadlines: https://faachallenge.nianet.org/2022-dates-and-deadlines/

Resources: https://faachallenge.nianet.org/2022-resources/

Prizes: https://faachallenge.nianet.org/2022-prizes/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

- To submit an Expression of Interest (optional): https://www.nationalinstituteofaerospace.org/nianet/faachallenge-eoi/index.html
- To submit a Project Plan Proposal: https://www.nationalinstituteofaerospace.org/nianet/faachallenge-proposal/index.html

Please direct inquiries to the FAA Challenge Program team at faachallenge@nianet.org.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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