Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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38 unmanned systems inside   August/September 2018 AIR IPP TENNESSEE fering with each other and with other users of the airspace. "There will be different people f ly- ing, different operators that will f ly, and they will upload their f light plans into our system," said Ken Stewart, A iR XOS' general manager. "We'll authorize those f lights, based on the criteria that they provide us, and then we'll ensure that the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that's f lying will be communicating." AiRXOS will also be the conduit for getting test data to the FAA, Stewart said. "What we're able to do is capture the data to ensure that they've got the authorized airspace, they're coopera- tive, they're conforming to their f light plan and then that data is gathered from that—and then that data is trans- ferred over to the FAA as part of these programs." In the meantime, while AiRXOS is keeping track of the airport's drone traffic, the drones will be helping the airport keep track of its ground traffic. ASSET TRACKING Fe der a l E x pr e s s a nd Memph i s International plan to test using UAS to do security monitoring of the FedEx ramp area where a large f leet of vehi- cles is used to service the planes and move materials. "If you can picture 170 parking po- sitions (and) within the area between every one of those jet parking positions all of the associated equipment, wheth- er that be fuel pumping equipment, whether that be tugs and dollies… It is a significant amount of square footage of apron that they are responsible for and manage," Brockman said. FedEx wants to f ly drones over those a rea s to monitor secur it y, Brockman said, "which means they will be f lying not only daytime, but also at night, and will be f lying over people and will be f lying in interac- tion with other drones that have all been programmed to do that in a way where they interact with each other and don't conf lict." FedEx said in a written comment it was pleased Memphis had been se- lected as one of the IPP teams. "We are supportive of testing and research in the FAA Unmanned Aircraft System pilot program." equipment. Then it's just a matter of you f lying as needed. And you then do the post-processing and immediately can tell from that, 'Oh, well, here are all the tugs. I need a tug. Here's the closest one. Let me go get it.'" LOOKING AHEAD Brockman sees the work needed to develop the safety case for FedEx's equipment tracking application as an opportunity to further another type of application—drone delivery of aircraft parts from the warehouse to the main- tenance areas. The four areas being researched by the Memphis IPP team—perimeter fence monitoring, runway/taxiway in- spection, tracking of traffic on FedEx's ramps and the inspection of the air- planes themselves (see Inspecting Aircraf t with Drones on Page 35) are only a slice of what the Airport Authority had originally proposed in the plan it submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). After assessing the proposals from all 10 winning teams, however, the FAA asked a number of them, includ- ing Memphis, to focus on only a few key activities (see intro story FA A Sharpens IPP Teams' Focus on Page 16). But that does not mean the other use cases are completely off the table. In fact, Brockman said they can use what they are doing to support these additional activities. Once you get the communication protocols for two drones doing ramp inspection, Brockman told Inside Unmanned Systems, they can be used for drones delivering parts because they're doing much the same thing over the same area. "They would com- municate, just like two drivers on the They will be flying not only daytime, but also at night, and will be flying over people and will be flying in interaction with other drones that have all been programmed to do that in a way where they interact with each other and don't conflict." " Scott Brockman, president and CEO, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Tadros suggested artificial intelli- gence could be used to help discern what types of vehicles are in the ramp area. "So today we are already demonstrat- ing with our drone and our post-pro- cessing data platform—called the Intel Insight Platform—the ability to detect not only vehicles but the type of vehicle. So we can detect if it's a sedan, a truck, a piece of construction equipment. With the right training we can detect if it's a tug or a cart or another type of

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