Federal Lab Consortium Convenes at Volpe
March 27, 2012
The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) Northeast regional meeting convened at Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, on March 20-22, 2012.
These regional and national meetings help accomplish the FLC's mission of promoting and facilitating the rapid movement of federal laboratory research results and technologies into the mainstream of the U.S. economy by bringing laboratories together with potential users of government-developed technologies.
A highlight of this year's meeting was the Volpe showcase tour, which featured key capabilities and projects: the Human Factors Laboratory, the Air Traffic Flow Management System, the Aviation Environmental Design Tool, the Cyber Security Laboratory, and the Maritime Safety and the Security Information System.
The FLC was organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer nationwide. Today, approximately 300 federal laboratories and centers and their parent departments and agencies are FLC members.
Volpe's Human Factors Laboratory
Volpe is home to a newly upgraded flight simulator modeled after Boeing's 737NG cockpit. The Center for Human Factors Research and System Applications provides internationally-recognized human factors research, engineering, development, and evaluation capabilities supporting all modes of transportation within a human systems integration framework.
The Air Traffic Flow Management System is used to help manage the airspace and redirect air traffic flows in response to rapidly changing conditions The Aviation Environmental Design Tool provides a unique capability to assess the of interdependencies of aviation-related noise, emissions, and fuel burn at the flight, airport, regional, national, and global levels.
Volpe's Cyber Security Laboratory
The Cyber Security Laboratory helps Volpe experts ensure the security of the transportation system by deploying cyber security technologies within all modes of transportation. As computers, networks, and wireless access points becomes ubiquitous in transportation, the reliability of these complex systems and the vulnerability of transportation to cyber disruptions are emerging concerns. Volpe experts collaborate with both the aerospace and automotive industries to increase system reliability and reduce cyber vulnerabilities. Michael Dinning, Director of Volpe's Transportation Logistics and Security Technical Center, gave a presentation on the power of collaborative efforts in developing and deploying innovations, providing examples from the Center's work in transit and cyber security and global maritime situational awareness.
Maritime Safety and Security Information System Laboratory
Volpe's Global Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) team was awarded the Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation for its efforts in enhancing levels of safety and economic stability on the global seas. Volpe, on behalf of the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet, initiated efforts to produce an MDA network known as the Maritime Safety and Security Information System (MSSIS). This unclassified, low-cost, shared network is now used to track the movements of vessels from around the world.
Volpe's principal technical advisor in Transportation Safety, Health, and Environment and liaison to the Federal Laboratory Consortium, Aviva Brecher, Ph.D., served as the guide for the Volpe showcase tour. Brecher answered questions and helped facilitate discussion between Volpe experts and FLC members.