The NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) – part of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) – and the US Air Force”s Agility Prime initiative are collaborating to better understand and develop the AAM supply chain and are issuing a request for information (RFI) to gather data for that purpose.
According to the RFI
“The intent is to map and share the current AAM supply chain via an electric platform, model and simulate the network’s ability to scale, and ensure that the industry has the human capital to meet future needs. The electronic platform, and modeling and simulation capabilities will also help connect original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with current and aspiring aerospace suppliers.
“This RFI requests information about a company’s manufacturing capabilities and offers firms the opportunity to join NASA’s Aerospace Supply Chain Working Group. For the purposes of this RFI, the AAM supply chain consists of all parties including, but not limited to, OEMs, designers, prototyping shops, aviation parts manufacturers, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) firms, academic institutions, and firms that have not traditionally supplied aviation but may be able to contribute to the market. Automotive suppliers or original equipment manufacturers, heavy machinery suppliers, and manufacturing technology firms may wish to offer information as well.
NASA and Agility Prime seek the following information and viewpoints:
- Firm name, address, and contact information.
- Sources of funding (Venture Capital, Private Equity, Strategic Investors, etc.), including the geographic locations of those sources.
- Firm’s production capabilities (e.g., aerostructures, motors, actuators, avionics, flight management systems, batteries, various types of raw materials, propellers, seats, etc.). This information may be compiled in an online database that will be available through NARI and Agility Prime sites, pending permission of individual respondents.
- Production focus: prototyping/job shop, batch production, mass production etc.
- Any ISO, FAA or quality management certifications.
- Feedback on the usefulness of an electronic exchange platform to reduce supply chain friction by connecting industry participants.
- Feedback on areas for research and analysis to help understand and develop the AAM ecosystem.
- Feedback on challenges in sourcing parts, downstream suppliers, and ram materials find parts, downstream suppliers, and raw materials, both related to the COVID-19 pandemic and prior.
- Feedback on challenges finding talent and skills, and human capital required to build AAM/UAM ecosystem.
“While NASA and Agility Prime are collaborating on supply chain development and analysis, this RFI is being released only through NASA channels to avoid confusion with prior Agility Prime information requests.
“The working group participants will be asked to share their diverse expertise, information, and opinions on these topics. The working groups will be a forum to communicate industry priorities, research and development (R&D) priorities, and share supply chain needs that may enable AAM. Participants will help identify the critical needs related to aircraft subsystems and critical parts, airspace subsystems, infrastructure subsystems, and talent and skills.”
For more information