Skip to main content

Ersin Ancel

Title: Assistant Branch Head / Airspace & Safety Group Lead

Technical Focus Area: Reliability, Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Missions/Projects: System-wide Safety (SWS) and Air Traffic Management – eXploration (ATM-X)

Study Topics/Expertise: small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), Urban Air Mobility, Pre-flight/In-flight Risk Management, Novel Risk Mitigation Techniques 

Ersin joined ASAB in 2010, working with Dr. Sharon M. Jones to develop a simulation to test airspace risk and safety in a gaming environment as part of his graduate work.

Upon graduation, Ersin joined the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and started working as a contractor in ASAB. He developed several transport category accident models for the Aviation Safety Program (AvSP) in support of portfolio analysis efforts at NASA Headquarters.

In 2014, he converted to a civil servant and has since been involved in various projects and tasks including the Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) Project; Paths to Autonomous Vehicles TTT- Autonomous Systems; UAS Traffic Management (UTM) – Safety, and SWS Risk Assessment Methods, among others. He is currently serving as the Airspace & Safety Group Lead and Assistant Branch Head of ASAB.


  • NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal
  • NASA Group Achievement Award UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Team
  • ASAB Innovation of the Year Award

Education/Professional Experience

  • B.S. in Astronautical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University (2005)
  • M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Old Dominion University (2007)
  • Ph.D. in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Old Dominion University (2011)
  • Research Engineer, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) (2011 – 2014)
  • AST, NASA Langley Research Center (2014 – Present)
    • Airspace & Safety Deputy (2019 – 2022)
    • Assistant Branch Head, ASAB, NASA Langley Research Center (2022 – Present)
  •  Airspace & Safety Lead (2022 – Present)


  • Ancel et al. (2022) Design and Testing of an Approach to Automated In-Flight Safety Risk Management for sUAS Operations. 2022 AIAA Aviation, Jun 27- Jul 1, Chicago, IL. DOI: 10.2514/6.2022-3459
  • Young, S. D., Ancel, E., Dill, E., Moore, A. Quach, C. Smalling, K., and Ellis, K. (2022) Flight Testing of In-Time Safety Assurance Technologies for UAS Operations. 2022 AIAA Aviation, Jun 27- Jul 1, Chicago, IL. DOI: 10.2514/6.2022-3458
  • Banerjee, P., Gorospe, G., and Ancel, E. (2021) 3D Representation of UAV-obstacle Collision Risk Under Off-nominal conditions. 2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Mar 6-13, DOI: 10.1109/AERO50100.2021.9438182
  • Young, S., Ancel, E., Moore, A., Dill, E., Quach, C., Foster, J., Darafsheh, K., Smalling, K., Vazquez, S., and Evans, E., Okolo, W., Corbetta, M., Ossenfort, J., Watkins, J., Kulkarni, C., and Spirkovska, L. (2020) Architecture and Information Requirements to Assess and Predict Flight Safety Risks During Highly Autonomous Urban Flight Operations. NASA/TM–2020-220440
  • Ancel, E., Helsel, T., Heinich, T. (2019) Ground Risk Assessment Service Provider (GRASP) Development Effort as a Supplemental Data Service Provider (SDSP) for Urban Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Operations, AIAA/IEEE DASC 2019, San Diego, CA, Sept. 9-12, DOI:
  • Ancel, E., Capristan F., Foster, J.V., and Condotta, R. (2019) In-Time Non-Participant Casualty Risk Assessment to Support Onboard Decision Making for Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft, AIAA Aviation 2019 Forum, Dallas, TX, Jun 17-21,
  • Geuther, S. C. and Ancel, E. (2018) An Analysis of the Role of Safety Nets in the National Airspace System, Paper presented at the 36th International System Safety Conference, August 13-17, 2018, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Shih, A.T., Geuther, S.C, Ancel, E., Withrow, C. A., Reveley, M. S., and Smith, B. E. (2018) NASA ARMD Technology Influence on Future Aviation Safety, NASA/TM-2018-219827.
  • Ancel, E., Capristan F., Foster, J.V., and Condotta, R. (2017) Real-Time Risk Assessment Framework for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM), Paper presented at the AIAA AVIATION Forum 17th ATIO Conference, Jun 5-7, Denver, CO,
  • Belcastro, C.M., Newman, R. L., Evans, J. K., Klyde, D.H., Barr, L.C., and Ancel, E. (2017) Hazards Identification and Analysis for Unmanned Aircraft System Operations, Paper presented at the AIAA AVIATION Forum, 17th ATIO Conference, Jun 5-7, Denver, CO,
  • Barr, L.C., Newman, R. L., Ancel, E., Belcastro, C.M., Foster, J.V., Evans, J. K., Klyde, D.H. (2017) Preliminary Risk Assessment for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Paper presented at the AIAA AVIATION Forum, 17th ATIO Conference, Jun 5-7, Denver, CO,
  • Prasad, S., Ivanco, M. L., Ivanco, T. G., and Ancel, E. (2017) Characterization of atmospheric turbulence as a function of altitude AIAA Aviation Forum 9th Atmospheric and Space Environments Conference, Jun 5-7, Denver, CO,
  • Ivanco, T. G., Ivanco, M. L., Ancel, E., Prasad, S., and Grubb A. L. (2017) Aerodynamically-Actuated Radical Shape-Change Concept AIAA AVIATION Forum 17th ATIO Conference, Jun 5-7, Denver, CO,
  • Ancel, E. & Shih, A.T (2015). Bayesian Safety Risk Modeling of Human-Flightdeck Automation Interaction. NASA TM-2015-218791.
  • Ancel, E., Shih, A. T., Jones, S. M., Reveley, M. S., Luxhøj, J. T. & Evans, J. K. (2014). Predictive Safety Analytics: Inferring Aviation Accident Shaping Factors and Causation. Journal of Risk Research. (2014) DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2014.896402.
  • Ancel, E. & Gheorghe A. (2014). A Simulation Game Application for Improving the United States’ Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in K. Hausken & J. Zhuang (Eds.), Game Theoretic Analysis of Congestion, Safety and Security: Networks, Air Traffic and Emergency Departments. Switzerland: Springer.
  • Ancel, E., & Shih, A. T. (2014). Modeling Increased Complexity and the Reliance on Automation: FLightdeck Automation Problems (FLAP) Model. Paper presented at the 32nd International System Safety Training Symposium, St. Louis, MO, Aug. 4-10.
  • Luxhoj, J. T., Shih, A. T., Ancel, E., Green, L., Jones, S. M., & Reveley, Mary S. (2014). Aviation Safety Risk Modeling: Lessons Learned from Multiple Knowledge Elicitation Sessions. Paper presented at the 32nd International System Safety Training Symposium, St. Louis, MO, Aug. 4-10.
  • Ancel, E. & Shih. A.T. (2014). Flightdeck Automation Problems (FLAP) Model for Safety Technology Portfolio Assessment. Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) 2014 International Annual Conference, VA Beach, VA, Oct 15-18.
  • Jones, S. M., Evans, J.K., Reveley, M. S., Withrow, C.A, Ancel, E. & Barr, L. (2013) Identification of Crew-Systems Interactions and Decision Related Trends, NASA/TM-2103-218000, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.
  • Ancel. E. & Shih, A. (2012) The Analysis of the Contribution of Human Factors to the In-flight Loss of Control Accidents, Paper Presented at the 12th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations (ATIO) Conference and 14th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference, AIAA, Indianapolis, IN, Sep 17-19,
  • Ancel, E. (2011) A Systemic Approach to Next Generation Infrastructure Data Elicitation and Planning Using Serious Gaming Methods,  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Engineering Management & Systems Engineering, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/b1zc-hj33.

Related Websites

Motorcycling, road biking, running, scuba diving, watching movies