Andrew Lacher​ Senior Principal, Aerospace Research and Autonomous Systems Noblis


Andy recently joined the Noblis Federal Civilian Solutions team where he will have a leadership role in shaping Noblis’ Aerospace and Autonomous System research. He will also be a technical contributor to Noblis Sponsored Research projects related to unmanned and autonomous systems with an emphasis on human-machine teaming and the trustworthiness of autonomous systems. Andy has close to 35 years of systems engineering experience, mostly in the aviation and transportation systems domain and is a recognized expert on the safety and security of unmanned and autonomous systems, especially aircraft.

Prior to joining Noblis, Andy was the Senior Manager for Autonomous Systems Integration at Boeing working as part of the NeXt business unit that was developing unmanned and advanced air mobility aircraft. He helped shape Boeing’s approach to operational integration, beyond visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations, and airspace management. He led Boeing’s efforts on NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign partnership. Andy participated in a number of industry efforts to develop technical standards related to UAS Traffic Management (UTM), Remote ID, Detect and Avoid (DAA), and autonomy.

Andy retired from The MITRE Corporation in 2019 after a total of 30 years of service. He was responsible for unmanned and autonomous systems integration and adoption working with sponsors at the FAA, DoD, DHS, and NASA. He managed a MITRE research portfolio associated with methods to calibrate the trustworthiness of autonomous systems. For over 17 years he coordinated efforts related to the routine integration into civil airspace. He was also involved with efforts to mitigate the threat posed by unauthorized UAS operations including characterizing the threat, assessing the effectiveness of mitigation approaches, and exploring technology solutions.

Much of Andy’s early research and analysis activities involved improving the safety, security, and efficiency of aviation operations through the application of new information technologies and decision processes. He worked on the definition of NextGen as part of the Joint Program and Development Office (JPDO) and was a thought leader in the area of future Traffic Flow Management (TFM) concepts including Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM).

In addition to his MITRE and Boeing experience, Andy worked as a product manager for Orbcomm (focused on the trucking industry) and was a strategic information technology consultant working with small airlines setting up Airline Operational Control facilities and other operational capabilities including ACARS and electronic flight bags (EFB).

Andy currently serves and has served in the past on a number of Aviation Rule-making Committees (ARC), technical standards bodies, and research advisory boards. He was a contributor to the following recent National Academies studies Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation: Toward a New Era of Flight and Assessing the Risks of Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. He currently serves on the National Academies’ Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB).

Andy earned both a Master of Science degree in Operations Research and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at The George Washington University.