Welcome to MFRA

A purpose-built joint venture of three small businesses joined to support NASA Ames Research Center’s Aerospace Systems Modeling and Simulation (SimLabs III) program.

MFRA Member Companies

Contract Transition News

Upcoming Events

Employee Open House
Michael's at Shoreline
2960 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043
Wednesday, April 18. 4-6pm
Presentation at 5pm!

Transition 1-on-1's
April 19-27
y appointment

Employment Opportunities

Submit your resume below

until contract start

MFRA Member Companies

Metis technology Solutions, Inc. is a woman-owned small business headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico with offices in Mountain View, California and Hampton, Virginia. Metis supports several high-visibility programs, including numerous NASA spaceflight missions, modeling and simulation for aeronautics research, and satellite ground system development. Metis internal research and development program includes software systems for aviation safety and autonomy applications, as well as IT automation. The company has been recognized with over 20 NASA achievement awards, was the 2017 NASA Agency-Wide Subcontractor of the Year, 2017 NASA Langley Research Center’s Subcontractor of the Year, the 2016 NASA Ames Research Center’s Subcontractor of the Year, and named one of New Mexico’s fastest growing tech companies in 2017.

On SimLabs II, Metis was responsible for preparation and operation of the NASA ARC Vertical Motion Simulator Complex and led planning and implementation of SimLabs experiments and collection of research data. Other relevant NASA experience includes design, implementation, integration, validation/verification of cutting edge concepts for the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS); and software engineering support of the Airspace and Traffic Operations Simulation (ATOS) project, which uses realistically modeled aircraft and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems to develop and test concepts for the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

Flight Research Associates was established in 2005 to provide NASA, the FAA and private industry with aviation professionals (pilots, air traffic controllers, traffic management specialists, airline dispatchers) to enable Air Traffic Management and Human Factors research.  Since then, our mission and customer base have grown to include database administration, software and systems engineering, and Live, Virtual, Constructive Distributed Simulation engineering for the FAA, DoD and industry partners.  Over the last 3 years, FRA has been integral in NASA and FAA research and test activities relating to Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS), sourcing pilots, air traffic controllers, and simulation engineers for both laboratory and live-fly research projects.

FRA is an Oregon corporation and a California alien corporation with primary operations and offices located in the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field, California.  Our government client base includes NASA, FAA, Navy, and Army.  Our non-government clients include the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), ATAC, Boeing, MITRE, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Pan Am International Flight Academy, UPS Airlines, Solentus, Meggitt Defense Systems, DynEd International, and Harcourt Assessment.  Our track record demonstrates persistent excellence in service by providing hands-on continual engagement at the highest levels of FRA and customer leadership.

SYMVIONICS has been in business for over 29 years.  SYMVIONICS specializes in support services and products; including modelling & simulation, training systems/devices, and flight test engineering.  Modeling & simulation experience relates to real-time, crew-in-the-loop simulation to support weapon system research & development and test & evaluation.  Training device experience includes the development of complex hardware/software intensive training devices (operational flight, weapon system, and air traffic control), technical support (training management systems & Computer Based Training), and instructor services (platform training & student scheduling).  Flight test engineering expertise is focused in real-time and post-flight tools (such as SYMVIONICS’ IADS® commercial product) and infrastructure development and enhancement.  SYMVIONICS is devoted to the simulation and training system industry, providing simulator system solutions to NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps.

For the past 12+ years, SYMVIONICS has provided on-site support to the NASA Ames Simulation Laboratory Facilities (SimLabs).  SYMVIONICS provides all services necessary to maintain the simulation facilities.  This includes both preventative and corrective maintenance.  We perform all scheduled (routine) and unscheduled maintenance and repairs to the simulation systems.  SYMVIONICS is responsible for the design, modification, assembly, and integration of hardware and equipment for simulation research operations and discrete projects.  SYMVIONICS also provides operators for the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) and runs motion checks before each day’s operations.

MFRA Leadership

Joy Colucci - MFRA Managing Member

Dr. Joy Colucci
MFRA Managing Member

Dr. Joy Colucci is the founder and CEO of Metis Technology Solutions, Inc., which she formed in 2010. Headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Metis employs 100 engineers and subject matter experts providing aeronautics and space systems development support to NASA and the US Air Force. Prior to founding Metis, Dr. Colucci held senior management positions at Hughes Applied Information Systems, Raytheon Technical Services, and Booz Allen Hamilton. As a business leader, she has been responsible for organizations of up to 500 technical staff and $60M in annual contract revenue. Joy earned BS, MS and PhD degrees in Earth System Science. She enjoys the outdoors, is an avid reader, and lives in New Mexico with her family.

Paul Fast - MFRA Member

Paul Fast
MFRA Member

Paul Fast is President and CEO of Flight Research Associates, Inc. (FRA).  Mr. Fast provides guidance and leadership in all aspects of business execution, and is FRA's focal point for aerospace business development, capture management, and strategic planning. Mr. Fast has over 27 years of aerospace operations, leadership and management experience, 11 of which have been on and around the NASA Ames Research Center supporting programs and projects in the Airspace Systems Division as well as NextGen program support to the FAA.  Mr. Fast also serves as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve as Mobilization Assistant to the Commander of Fifth Air Force and US Forces Japan, providing command leadership continuity to over 50,000 US forces stationed in Japan.  Mr. Fast also serves on several boards of directors, including the Truckee Tahoe Airport Community Advisory Board.

Richard Weeks

Richard A. Weeks
MFRA Member

Richard A. Weeks has contributed over 45 years of service to the Nation’s aerospace and defense industry.  These contributions have been both technical and managerial.  He co-founded SYMVIONICS with Lawrence B. Barraza, and SYMVIONICS has grown to be a Nationally-known provided of services and products to the Department of Defense and NASA, including high technology training systems/devices and innovative flight test software products.  Mr. Weeks has served as the Executive Vice President for SYMVIONICS since its incorporation in 1988, where he is responsible for all marketing and business development efforts.  Prior to SYMVIONICS, he was the president of SETACORP (a small consulting company).  Earlier in his career, he was employed by Ball Aerospace for two (2) years and Northrop Grumman for over eleven (11) years.

Mr. Weeks’ technical experience includes developmental support to some of the world’s most technically advanced aircraft, such as the F-22 Air Dominance Fighter, the B-2 Stealth Bomber, and the C-17 Airlifter.  Other aircraft that he has supported includes:  F/A-18, F-20, F-5E/F, YF-17, A-10, A-7, A-6, MH-130E/H, AC-130E/U, MH-53J, MH-60G, and numerous other classified aircraft.  He was also involved in the development of the High Speed Antiradiation Missile (HARM) and the Walleye glide bomb data link.

Mr. Weeks holds a Masters of Science Degree in Engineering (Applied Dynamic System Control) from UCLA (1984), a Masters of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from USC (1976), and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic Pomona – Cal Poly (1974).  He was the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year from Cal Poly in 2007.

Richard Walsh - MFRA Program Mgr

Richard Walsh
MFRA SimLabs Program Manager

Richard Walsh has had a remarkable 30-year career of providing inspirational leadership, expert strategies, and accountability within large, complex environments is underscored with a personal dedication to maximizing organizational potential and empowering others to succeed.  Richard possess M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in the fields of Aerospace and Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is a U.S. Army Veteran, former FAA – rated air traffic controller, student pilot and accredited airport executive. Richard’s contributions have been instrumental in substantially increasing revenues and expanding business for the organizations and communities he’s served.  This success is attributable to a management philosophy focused on revenues, costs, and quality.  Richard has acquired first-hand knowledge in dealing with the many complex issues related to the operation, development, and planning of some of North America’s leading aeronautical businesses where public interest is intense, widespread, and controversial.  Previous experience includes Director of Aviation at Palm Springs International Airport and Associate Deputy Director of Aviation at San Francisco International Airport. As a proven, proficient and effective leader, Richard offer’s the experience, vision, energy and drive required for success in today’s ever evolving and dynamic work environments.



American Systems is a 100% employee-owned engineering services company with 1,300 employees in 24 regional offices nationwide, and more than $280M in revenue in 2017. Based in Chantilly, VA, we provide support globally to government and commercial customers. The AMERICAN SYSTEMS Engineering & Analytical Solutions Directorate (EASD) has been supporting simulation and flight research for more than 30 years. With more than 70 engineers and scientists, the AMERICAN SYSTEMS EASD maintains a core capability of state-of-the-art research simulator development, high-fidelity air vehicle system and sub-system modeling, and simulation research support.

Our personnel have supported NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) since 2011, including supporting NextGen Separation Assurance data link communication performance studies, loss of control experiments in conjunction with the FAA, and enhancing NASA Simlabs modeling and simulation technology. We have supported NextGen Air Traffic Initiatives via NASA Research Announcements (NRAs) and provided simulation engineering support for the Air Space and Traffic Operation Simulation (ATOS) and simulator evaluation support for NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC). We also currently support the Aircraft Operations Division (AOD) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Ellington Field in the development of Autopilot systems for NASA’s fleet of T-38 and WB-57 aircraft. We perform similar engineering services as SimLabs at the Navy’s Manned Flight Simulator (MFS) facility where we support simulation experiments; develop real-time, high-fidelity air vehicle models; and support facility maintenance. We have been supporting the MFS facility for almost 30 years.

CCI Logo

Crown Consulting Inc. – an aeronautics systems and software engineering firm – brings over twenty years of experience on programs to craft and test ATM concepts. Its contributions to new ATM technologies and their operations in human-in-the-loop simulations and the real world started with developing collaborative decision-making concepts and tools and grew to embrace a leadership role in creating airspace automation and autonomy Concepts of Operations and NASA’s Aeronautics technology roadmaps.

Today, Crown supports a host of NAS modernization efforts, assisting the FAA and on UAS integration issues and NASA in crafting ATM strategic plans and technology concepts.  Its role in defining integrated capability concepts for ARMD helped to set the basis for Airspace Technology Demonstrations (ATDs) - initiatives critical to successful technology transfer.

Crown’s ARC R&D portfolio includes support for building the SMART-NAS test bed, the Sherlock Data Warehouse and exploring advanced ATM and UAS technology concepts and decision-support tools.  As the NAMS Program’s largest subcontractor, it directs development of technology concepts and performs research on the application of big data and machine-learning techniques to ATM planning and decision-making.


MFRA SIMLABS Preferred Vendors


ATAC Corporation is a solutions company providing the aviation community with state-of-the-art simulation, modeling, analysis tools and expert services in air traffic systems. We provide comprehensive analytical and subject matter expert capabilities including research and development, operations design and analysis, safety reporting and analysis, environmental analysis, and training solutions.  We are committed to the aviation industry providing high quality products and services, while maintaining a creative, innovative and responsive small business company environment.

As an industry leader in the development and application of aviation system computer simulations and data processing/analysis tools, ATAC has been a primary developer of analysis tools including the Performance Data Analysis and Reporting System (PDARS), the Integrated Noise Model (INM), the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT), the Airport and Airspace Simulation Model (SIMMOD™) and SkyView™. ATAC is also a provider of end-to-end human-in-the-loop air traffic control simulation services using a mobile air traffic control simulation and training system leveraging ATAC’s SkyView™ software and Kongsberg Geospatial’s Integrated Simulation (I-SIM).

Cavan Logo

Cavan Solutions is a Woman-Owned aviation consulting company that combines systems engineering and operational expertise to advance ideas, concepts, and technologies from the lab to the field to achieve benefits in the National Airspace System (NAS).  The company was founded to support the transition and integration of new capabilities into NAS operations by bringing together experts in systems engineering, aviation and air traffic management, and operations research.  Cavan principals have led concept exploration, R&D, field trials, and operational transition of FAA NextGen initiatives over the past 20 years, specializing in Time-Based Operations, route and separation optimization, capacity improvements, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).  This support includes many NASA-developed technologies including Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) and its predecessor Center TRACON Automation System (CTAS), Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSAS), Interval Management, UAS Traffic Management (UTM), Dynamic Routes for Arrival in Weather (DRAW), and SmartNAS.  Cavan’s breadth of experience and staff expertise bridge the gap between research and operational results.  Cavan holds prime and subcontracts with FAA, NASA, and the US Air Force.


optima lsynthesis logo

Optimal Synthesis Inc. (OSI) is a systems technology company focusing on innovative research, algorithms development, and software design for a variety of engineering and science applications. Based in downtown Los Altos, California, OSI has been in business since 1992. Researchers in various disciplines such as aerospace/mechanical/electrical engineering, physics, and computer science are currently affiliated with the company. Most of our research staff hold post-graduate degrees from leading institutions in the US, and about half of them hold doctoral degrees. Our customers include the US Government, major US corporations and research laboratories. OSI has core competency in the following technology areas and applications: Aerospace and Defense Applications; Air Transportation Systems; Aerospace Guidance, Control, and Navigation; Robotics and Automation; Communications and Signal Processing; Machine Vision and Image Processing; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Soft-Computing; and Low-Cost High-Performance Computing. OSI currently holds a number of Infinite Delivery / Infinite Quantity (ID/IQ) federal government contracts, including a Master Ordering Agreement from the Electronic FAA Accelerated and Simplified Tasks (eFAST), and a Multiple Award Contract from the Navy’s SeaPort-Enhanced (SeaPort-e).