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FAA Center of Excellence Calls for Affiliate Members; Assigns Florida Tech Point of Contact

01/30/2013

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST) as the point of contact for candidate universities and organizations who wish to become affiliate members of the Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation (COE CST). The FAA is the authorizing organization for the COE CST.

The FAA's public announcement of the solicitation for affiliate members notes its goal as to “fully develop the network of organizations from academia and industry (including for-profit and non-profit organizations) with similar and complementary interests in the research conducted under the COE CST.” Candidate affiliate members are defined as public or private organizations that conduct research or educational activities that fall within the following four COE CST research areas: space traffic management and operations; space transportation operations, technologies and payloads; human spaceflight; and space transportation industry viability.

According to Ken Davidian, director of research, FAA AST, “Florida Tech is taking a leading role in the COE CST, helping to initiate and execute collaborative efforts within and external to the commercial space research community and industry.”

Florida Tech is one of nine COE CST member universities. Other members include Florida State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico State University, Stanford University, University of Central Florida, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Florida and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Complete details are given at FedBizOps under Soliciation 10-C-CST-001. To become an affiliate member, candidate organizations must notify the COE CST by sending an official letter of candidacy to Tristan J. Fiedler, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Blvd., Melbourne, Fla., 32901. An email can also be sent to fiedler@fit.edu. For more information about the COE CST, visit http://www.coe-cst.org.

About the FAA COE CST

Congress authorized Air Transportation Centers of Excellence under the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990. This legislation enables the FAA to work with universities and their industry partners to conduct research in environment and aviation safety, and other activities to assure a safe and efficient air transportation system. With the establishment of the COE CST in offices of FAA AST, research will extend to cutting-edge technologies and infrastructure for private human spaceflight and orbital debris mitigation.

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