NSF Award

National Science Foundation

Small Business Innovation Research
Vianair awarded $1,000,000 NSF SBIR Phase II award

New York City, August 26th – Vianair Inc. has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $1,000,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on airspace design and planning.

The broader impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project seeks to improve the efficiency of air traffic operations and increase airport and airspace capacity utilization, enabling reductions in emissions, noise impact, flight delays, and operational costs of airports and airlines. The anticipated result is to produce a software platform that will become an industry standard used by 200 major metropolitan airports and over 50 airlines globally, addressing an available market of over $100 Million. The technology may contribute to a sustainable future aviation system that enables economic growth, while minimizing environmental impact. Preliminary development and testing of the technology in New York indicates the potential to increase airport and airspace capacity by as much as 20%, with savings for delays, fuel burn, noise impact and controller workload from 10%-21%, and cost savings of $2 Billion/year. The proposed innovation may increase the understanding of airspace operations and related trade-offs by bridging the gap between aviation professionals and the public through 3D visualizations of proposed airspace changes and quantification of their expected impacts on the environment and safety.

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project seeks to develop a software platform for integrated airspace and airport system planning, design, and management. Currently, airport authorities, airlines, and air navigation service providers use legacy software tools for the above. These tools are outdated and difficult to use, fail to properly quantify trade-offs between design objectives, and produce unsustainable design solutions leading to sub-optimal system performance. The research objectives of this project are to unify the disjointed functions of design, planning and performance evaluation of airport operations, quantify trade-offs between competing design objectives, and optimize for system efficiency in terms of maximizing safety and capacity while minimizing delays, emissions, noise, fuel burn and operational cost. To achieve this, the company will work with major airports and airlines to identify key requirements, develop tractable mathematical models for addressing the tasks and validate the results via application in real operational environments. The anticipated technical result is a unified software platform that will enable airports/airlines to be more efficient, while also balancing operational, societal, and environmental objectives in building a sustainable aviation system for the future.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“Vianair bridges the gap between airspace design proposals and their implementation by enabling the holistic evaluation of such proposals at design-time, while taking into account aircraft performance, fuel burn, delays, and environmental considerations, such as emissions and noise impact. Vianair AIM transitions the airspace design and planning process into the future and has the potential to lead to significant benefits for society”, said Stavros Sidiropoulos, Vianair’s Founder and CEO.

To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.