Two organizations have been chosen to host demonstrations of NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM): the Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence & Innovation in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems in Las Vegas.
Reno, Nev., will entertain the first drone flights from March to June, while Corpus Christi will start its tests from July to August.
These technology demonstrations will be the final phase of a 4-year-long research series centered on small unmanned aircraft systems.
“This phase represents the most complicated demonstration of advanced UAS operating in a demanding urban environment that will have been tested to date,” says NASA’s UTM Project Manager Ronald Johnson. “We are pleased at the plans by our partners in Nevada and Texas to conduct flight tests in a true urban environment with the support of the city of Reno and the city of Corpus Christi.”
The demonstrations hope to heighten awareness within the commercial drone industry when flying in an urban setting, as well as help policymakers make more informed decisions when dealing with drone traffic management procedures.
NASA lists several important technologies that will be utilized during the demos in Texas and Nevada:
- A flight information management system.
- UAS service supplier interface.
- An interface featuring vehicle integrated detect-and-avoid capabilities, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, and automated safe landing technologies.
Chris Walach, the Nevada organization’s senior director, says, “We are very excited to partner with NASA on such an important program that will have a significant innovative impact on the global UAS Industry.”
“This series of tests is a critical step in enabling the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems within an urban environment,” Mike Sanders, acting executive director of the Texas organization, adds.