In a historic milestone for the drone industry, this week AirMap and Project Wing in a test program led by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, successfully demonstrated an industry-leading solution to safety-critical airspace deconfliction challenges as part of the ongoing NASA-UTM trials.
Developed by NASA and the FAA, NASA-UTM is a multi-year collaborative research project with the goal of developing and demonstrating a possible UTM system that can safely enable drone operations.
As a UAS Service Supplier (USS), AirMap has participated in past trials to successfully demonstrate NASA-UTM capabilities, including geofencing, rule-based situational awareness, flight planning, airspace conflict resolution, notice and authorization, real-time telemetry, contingency management, and remote airspace management for a variety of BVLOS flight simulations.
This week, AirMap joined Project Wing and ANRA technologies to test TCL3 concepts, including failover recovery, remote identification, dynamic weather conditions, contingency planning, and USS-to-USS communication for multiple drone operations.
During the trial, AirMap provided UTM services to a senseFly eBee and an Intel Aero, while Project Wing powered separate Intel Aeros, a DJI Inspire, and their own delivery drone. AirMap and Project Wing UTM systems successfully planned and de-conflicted flight plans within the same airspace using an open source, distributed, peer-to-peer system to perform a multitude of missions, including surveys and package delivery in close proximity. Throughout the flights, AirMap and Project Wing UTM systems demonstrated USS-to-USS communication to ensure compliance and safety across the entire multi-USS UTM environment.
USS-to-USS communication is among the most technically challenging capabilities demonstrated in TCL3. At scale, drones will be operating simultaneously in a wide variety of commercial applications like search-and-rescue, industrial inspection, and logistics. In these applications, drones will be operating in shared dimensions, connected to a variety of USS platforms. These USS platforms need to be able to talk to each other to manage drone traffic safely and efficiently in congested airspace. The technology demonstrated in TCL3 serves as a foundation for information exchange between USSs to enable a cooperative and scalable low-altitude airspace system.
The success of this month’s NASA-UTM TCL3 trials is further proof that strong cooperation between private and public industry players is essential to enabling safe high-scale drone operations and is already happening in the United States and worldwide.
AirMap continues to serve as a collaborative and competent enabler of the drone economy by opening up more airspace for commercial drone operations at scale. Learn more about AirMap’s airspace management solutions at www.airmap.com/utm.