As the drone industry evolves to serve increasingly advanced use cases like autonomous delivery, disaster recovery, and infrastructure inspection, solutions for drone traffic management (known as UTM) must also evolve to manage the increased complexity of multiple drone flights taking place concurrently within the same airspace.
Solving for this complexity is essential to AirMap’s mission of empowering the drone economy with cutting-edge airspace intelligence solutions. In summer 2019, AirMap participated in numerous trials across the United States that directly addressed this challenge, including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s UAS Integration Pilot Program, the Federal Aviation Administration’s UTM Pilot Program, and New York State’s NUAIR Alliance.
NASA TCL4 Trials
One such demonstration is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s TCL4 trials. TCL4 represents the final phase of a four-part, multi-year NASA project dedicated to researching, testing, and refining core technologies for UTM.
For the TCL4 trials, AirMap has partnered with other UAS Service Suppliers (USS) at the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation test site in Corpus Christi, TX, and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems test site in Reno, NV, to test interactions among concurrent drone operations utilizing various USS within a shared airspace volume.
Image: An AirMap 3D visualization of flight plans and real-time position tracking during trials in Reno, NV
During the trials to date, AirMap has been able to demonstrate several safety capabilities essential to unlocking future advanced drone operations, including strategic and tactical deconfliction, off-nominal reporting, prioritization of authority operations, contingency plans, and UAS volume reservation (UVR).
The AirMap UTM Platform provided simulation support for Nevada’s tests in June 2019, and will support live demonstration flights in Texas in mid-August 2019.
Download the AirMap Labs Report — TCL4
Ongoing Research & Development
Beyond TCL4, AirMap continue to invest in a range of trials across the world to further UTM regulation setting and uncover best practices. For example, AirMap has numerous trials underway this summer as part of the European Network of U-space Demonstrators’ SESAR projects. AirMap also participates in 19+ trade associations and initiatives, including GUTMA and Drone Alliance Europe.
In all of these collaborative demonstrations, AirMap partners with regulators, authorities, and industry partners to define standards and build the right infrastructure, all in support of advancing toward a future robust global drone economy.