NASA Funds Electric Aircraft, Additive Manufacturing and Robotic Initiatives

May 22, 2019

NASA will provide $6 million over the course of three years to support a University Leadership Initiative (ULI) project focused on the development of a fully electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage method.


Concept sketch of a fully electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage method.

The Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft (CHEETA) project, led by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, includes participation from eight additional institutions: the Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Research and Technology, General Electric Global Research, The Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, the University of Dayton Research Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The award to the University of Illinois was one of three in the second round of ULI funding, which will provide a total of about $15 million over three years. The other awards:

  • Carnegie Mellon University for exploring new methods for using additive manufacturing to reduce costs and increase the speed of mass-producing aircraft without sacrificing quality, reliability and safety.
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison for researching new ways humans can use robotics to improve the efficiency and flexibility of aviation-related manufacturing processes while enhancing employee safety.
Industry-Related Terms: Additive manufacturing
View Glossary of 3D Metal Printing Terms

Technologies: Applications

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