Sarasina Tuchen

Position: US Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

Mrs. Sarasina Tuchen is a Senior Scientist in the Highly Automated Systems Safety (HASS), Center of Excellence (COE) in the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R). The HASS COE is a new office stood up by Congress in 2020 with a vision to be a national resource for expertise, research and global leadership in advancing the safe deployment of automation in transportation. Mrs. Tuchen is part of a team of national experts aimed to support the U.S Department of Transportation in reviewing, assessing and validating highly automated systems for safety. Mrs. Tuchen has over 30 years of experience in both private industry and federal government. Prior to her federal service, she was Group Vice President of Engineering at Digitas. Over the last 20 years, she has been the technical lead of many of the FAA’s NexGen Air Transportation system technologies and platforms (including System Wide Information Management (SWIM) and advanced surveillance systems) that are modernizing the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). In addition, she was the USDOT’s on-site lead at the NASA Ames Research Center working with NASA researchers to integrate advanced automation technologies to increase the air traffic capacity and efficiency of our National Airspace System. Before the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry working groups were established, she worked with NASA on highlighting the importance of multimodal integration for the success of integrating these new airspace vehicles (AAM/UAM) that will complement and compete with surface transportation. She has been an expert panelist, national working group member, principal author, and international conference technical chair on emerging multimodal, air transportation technologies and standards. She is the principal author of three IEEE/AIAA papers in this new thought leadership area. Her seminal 2018 paper “Role of Aviation in Seamless End-to-End Mobility” proposed a seamless mobility information sharing architecture and describes the challenges, technical data exchange standards and network models needed to move to a multi-modal, passenger centric door-to-door model from current independent modes. She also co-authored a follow-on paper, “Multimodal Transportation Operational Scenario and Conceptual Data Model for integration with Urban Air Mobility (UAM)” that expands the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Flight Information Exchange Model (FIXM) standard and the public General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) and proposes new standards to securely exchange data between all transportation vehicles and networks. She led a multi-modal team to develop a set of tools for stakeholders (such as city and state planners) to start planning for UAM integration in their cities. The framework and tools are documented in a recently published and best of session awarded IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference paper, “Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Total Mobility Innovation Framework and Analysis Case Study: Boston Area Digital Twin and Economic Analysis”. She is serving on the USDOT’s AAM Interagency Working Group leading the automation strategy for the implementation of the AAM Coordination and Leadership act ( Public Law No: 117-203). Sarasina earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University (1989) and an M.S. in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford University (1992).