NASA and the US Department of Defence recently signed an agreement to develop an integrated national strategy for managing their respective aeronautical test facilities. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Kenneth Krieg signed the National Partnership for Aeronautical Testing (NPAT) agreement.
The agreement expands the dialogue beyond the test and evaluation communities to include industry, academia and the science and technology interests from both agencies. Aeronautical test facilities are used for testing vehicles including aircraft, missiles or space vehicles, or for related scientific and engineering studies. They include wind tunnels, propulsion test facilities, simulation facilities and open-air ranges.
The agreement also established an NPAT council responsible for the development of projects that streamline and economise the management of aeronautical test facilities. It is co-chaired by Lisa Porter, associate administrator of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, and John Foulkes, director of the Department of Defence’s Test Resource Management Centre.
The partnership is one element of both agencies’ response to the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy President Bush signed in December 2006.