NASA's Ikhana/Predator B unmanned science demonstration aircraft in flight. NASA Dryden's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) provides the advanced technology and new capability elements to NASA's Suborbital Science Program. Uniquely positioned at Dryden Flight Research Center, SMD is dedicated to advancing new flight technologies and expanding the ability of existing systems to support suborbital scientific data collection.
Earth Science Capabilities Demonstrations (ESCD)
The Earth Science Capabilities Demonstration Project (ESCD) is committed to aggressively pursuing the development of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) as tools for suborbital Earth Science studies and other civil applications. The mission of the Project is to accomplish flight demonstrations of integrated technology experiments including, or with a focus on, using remotely and autonomously operated aircraft in the support of Earth Science and other civil missions. The scope of the Project includes identifying Earth Science and civil UAS missions, the technologies required for those missions, and the development of selected related technologies through flight experimentation and demonstration.