NASA Aeronautics Research Institute


NARI believes we can solve some of the world’s toughest aeronautics challenges. We do this by advancing trends in cutting-edge aeronautics research and operational strategies by connecting clients within NASA and government at every level, industry, academia, and philanthropy using innovative collaborative practices, technology, and agile, cross-disciplinary expertise.

NARI Supports Emerging Priorities in Aeronautics

NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) operates at the nexus of industry, government, and academia with an outward-facing approach to monitor trends and aviation needs. Exciting opportunities are emerging in aviation with advancing research and development of autonomous, high-speed, and electric aircraft. In addition to introducing new modes of transportation and sustainability, these new technologies are changing the future air traffic and safety paradigm. These increasingly complex and changing ecosystems require diverse perspectives and expertise of multiple organizations to be successful.

NARI provides a collaborative infrastructure for new and established partners to work with NASA to explore and advance opportunities for critical research. By building relationships with industry and other agencies and by listening to stakeholders, NARI is connecting needs with NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) priorities and research capabilities.


Parimal Kopardekar, Ph.D.

Parimal Kopardekar (PK) serves as the Director of NARI. In this capacity, he is responsible for exploring new trends, research areas, collaborations, and partnerships relevant to aeronautics enterprise. Recently, he co-led a comprehensive needs assessment study for wildfire mitigations. In the past, he served as NASA's senior technologist for Air Transportation Systems. He invented Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM), to safely enable large-scale drone operations at lower altitudes which is now being globally adopted. He also chairs International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s unmanned aircraft system advisory group. He is a recipient of many awards, including the NASA Government Invention of the Year, NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Award, NASA Engineer of the Year Award, and the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America’s Promising Innovation Award.  PK was named among 25 most influential people in the drone industry. He serves as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Aerospace Operations and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also serves as an adjunct faculty and teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses related to operations management, supply chain management, and innovation. He holds Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Production Engineering.

Frequently AskedQuestions

When was NARI established?

NARI has supported aeronautics innovation through collaboration, partnership, education and outreach since its inception in 2012.

What are NARI's primary areas of focus?

NARI focuses on exploratory areas of research for aeronautics.

Who does NARI partner with?

NARI partners with industry, government, and academia.

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