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Research and Development Facilities

Map of Facilities

Federal Facilities
Partner Facilities
Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)

Definitions for Federally Funded Research and Development Facilities

Federal Facility: R&D conducted intramurallythe work is clearly controlled by the federal government, staffed by federal employees and/or uniformed militarythe results are definitely owned by the federal government.

Partner Facility: R&D conducted extramurallydepending on the type of legal instrument used by the federal government (grantscontractsand cooperative agreements) to transfer the federal R&D dollars to the extramural performerwho controls the conduct of the R&D and who owns the results of the R&D can depends on the precise terms of the each specific legal instrument.

Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFDRC): Contractor-operated units established by the federal government to meet special long-term R&D needs that cannot be met effectively by existing federal in-house or conventional contractor resources.

Federal Facilities

The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center is a unit of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The Volpe Center's systems-level understanding of transportation technology, operations and institutions, coupled with a wide range of analytical and engineering capabilities, has been an invaluable resource to DOT and the transportation  enterprise. The Center has evolved into an internationally recognized center of transportation expertise. Through research and development, engineering, and analysis, the Volpe Center helps decision-makers define problems and pursue solutions. As a catalyst for innovation, the Center repeatedly exhibits its ability to respond rapidly to emerging transportation needs and deploy systems that work in complex environments The Volpe Center is entrepreneurial and is fully client-funded, which is unique for a governmental entity.
Address: The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-494-2224

The William J. Hughes Technical Center Laboratory Facility is a unit inside DOT's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The center maintains and operates the FAA's laboratories that conduct R&D to reduce the number of airplane accidents, improve airspace design, increase airport capacity, and reduce airplane delays caused by weather and system outages. The center also develops and tests aviation software systems and equipment and evaluates existing systems.
Address: The William J. Hughes Technical Center Laboratory Facility
Atlantic City Int'l Airport, NJ 08405
Phone: 609-485-4482

The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) is a federally owned and operated research facility in McLean, Virginia. TFHRC is the home of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Office of Research, Development, and Technology.  Research at the Center focuses on providing solutions to complex, technical, real-world problems. The end result is a safer, more reliable, and longer-lasting highway transportation system. The expertise of TFHRC scientists and engineers encompasses more than 30 transportation-related disciplines. The TFHRC laboratories provide a vital resource for advancing the body of knowledge that has been created and developed by our researchers. Research and development is conducted intramurally and extramurally and funds are awarded competitively. The center performs three overall roles: (1) Coordinator of the development of the national highway research and technology agenda, working with other offices in the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration and with our partners in the State and local government, academia, industry, and professional organizations. (2) Investigator of new and existing technologies and methods to improve the safety, efficiency, and operation of our highway system. (3) Disseminator of the results of our research to the highway community where it may be placed into practice.
Address: Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
Phone: 202-493-3423

The Civil Aeromedical Institute is a unit of DOT's Federal Aviation Administration. It studies the factors that influence human performance in the aviation environment. Specifically, it studies the biomedical and human performance aspects of aviation. The institute's toxicology and accident research program evaluates medical findings gleaned from aircraft accidents to improve the safe operation of aircraft. The protection and survival program develops injury-reducing materials and structures and evaluates survival equipment and procedures to protect aircraft occupants.
Address: The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute
6500 South MacArthur, Room 302
Oklahoma City, OK 73169

Partner Facilities

Transportation Technology Center (TTC) is Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) research, testing and training center located in a remote location about 25 miles northeast of Pueblo, CO. It is a 52 square mile site with a vast array of specialized testing facilities and railways. It includes 10 major buildings, 50 miles of track, an impact wall for crash tests, and a variety of locomotives, cars, and laboratory test equipment. TTC is used by the FRA, other government agencies, the railroad industry, individual railroads, transit operators, suppliers, and foreign organizations. A wide range of locomotives, cars, track components, and components for freight, passenger, transit, and high-speed rail operations are tested at the site. TTC also provides training for emergency response, hazardous spill response, and security.
Address: Transportation Technology Center
55500 DOT Road
Pueblo, CO 81001
Phone: 719-584-0750
Fax 719-584-0711

The Vehicle Research and Test Center is a unit inside DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It conducts research and vehicle tests on crash avoidance, crashworthiness, and biomechanics. Specific research activities of the center's Pedestrian and Applied Division focus on biomechanics, occupant protection, and crash dummies. Specific research activities of the center's Vehicle Stability and Control Division examine vehicle handling, light vehicle brake systems, vehicle dynamics simulation, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), driver behavior, and heavy trucks.
Address: The Vehicle Research and Test Center
10820 State Route 347
Building 60
East Liberty, OH 43319
Phone: 937-666-4511

Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center is funded by DOT's Federal Transit Administration. The FTA New Model Bus Testing Program is designed to promote the production of better transit vehicles and components and to ensure that transit customers purchase safe vehicles able to withstand the rigors of transit service. The program was established in response to legislation included in the 1987 Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act. This legislation required all new and modified bus models to be tested before being purchased with federal funds. The Altoona Bus Testing and Research Center was established in 1989. The Pennsylvania Transportation Institute operates and maintains the facility on behalf of FTA.
Address: Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center
2237 Old Route 220N
Duncansville, PA 16635
Phone: 814-695-3404
Fax: 814-695-4069

National Transit Institute (NTI) is funded by DOT's Federal Transit Administration. The National Transit Institute, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, was established under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to develop, promote, and deliver training and education programs for the public transit industry. In 1999, NTI became part of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, housed at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. NTI is funded by a cooperative agreement from the Federal Transit Administration.
Address: National Transit Institute
120 Albany Street
Tower Two, Suite 250
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2163
Phone: 732-932-1700
Fax: 732-932-1707

Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)

The Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development is a Federal Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) sponsored by DOT's FAA and operated by the MITRE Corporation. It conducts research related to airway facilities, air traffic, airspace systems capacity, and aviation safety. All R&D activities of the center are specifically designed to help the FAA and other civil aviation sponsors plan, acquire, and implement their future air traffic management systems. It works with domestic and foreign units, with a focus on the need for a safe and efficient air traffic management environment, to conform to the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Specific research activities of this FFRDC focus on solving systemwide problems resulting in delay and other inefficiencies, researching flow efficiency within transition in airspace, developing airport acceptance and departure rates, and researching ways to decrease inefficient airport surface operations.
Address: Center for Advanced Aviation System Development
The MITRE Corporation
7515 Colshire Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102-7508
Phone: 703-983-5912