Concept design envisions the future of aerospace.

Riverfront Case Study

NASA logo

The Project

Concept design envisions the future of aerospace. Urban Air Mobility (UAM ) envisions a safe and efficient aviation transportation system that will use highly automated aircraft that will operate and transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes within urban and suburban areas.

The Challenge

Due to safety and noise concerns, flight corridors for UAM aircraft should be located a safe distance from buildings and structures. How can we best utilize the promise of these novel aircraft while also establishing a safe and efficient system for travel?

Concept design drawing envision the future of aerospace

The Solution

To help communicate this concept to stakeholders, we looked at the challenge through a technical lens as well as an aesthetic one. This resulted in a high-level picture of what’s important to the definition of a UAM as well as how the aircraft will navigate.

Concept drawing of a riverfront landing pad

This project included:

  • Conceptual Exploration
  • System Designs
  • Visual Representations of Project

Developed for NASA, Riverfront UAM vertiport concept looks 15 to 20 years into the future. This advanced concept is a promising solution that takes advantage of the unique features of many urban cities that are built along rivers. Unlike city streets, rivers have relatively little activity and offer unused flight corridors, making them ideal for eVTOL aircraft operations. Furthermore, the wide corridors created by these urban waterways cut through the heart of cities and provide safe approach routes for air taxis that are at a distance from the tall buildings, which can create turbulent wind patterns.

The Outcome

Riverfront delivered a clear, actionable plan to address a discrete challenge presented by the growth of UAM. KAIA provided engineering support, visualization, and systems design to help clarify these newfound opportunities. This inventive concept impressed leadership by offering an accessible solution to a complex, real-world issue.