FAA convenes outreach meeting at Iowa State

Laboratory Supervisor Jim Benson (Left), shows the prototype of the Tornado Simulator to John Speckin, the Deputy Regional Administrator for FAA Central Region.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering hosted the Iowa Congressional Outreach for the Central Region of the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday. Members of the FAA presented reports to airport directors, aviation professionals, and congressional staffers on FAA activity and regulations in Iowa throughout the past year.

James Oliver explains the research VRAC is conducting in augmented reality.

The meeting also touched on future developments for the FAA in Iowa, including the use of UAS and urban air mobility. Interim department chair Christina Bloebaum presented to the group, in addition to assistant professor Peng Wei and alum Akash Vidyadharan, CEO of InfraDrone, who gave brief overviews of research capabilities in the specific area of unmanned vehicles, a key topic for FAA at present.

After the meeting, the group was treated to a tour of the Iowa State WiST Lab and the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) by Laboratory Supervisor Jim Benson and VRAC Director, James Oliver. Attendees were able to see and hear about some of the research that is being conducted in aerospace engineering as well as see the advances being made in virtual reality and augmented reality.

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