Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2017 - JAN 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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AIR INTEGRATION 26 unmanned systems inside   December 2017/January 2018 HOW TO CONNECT If you're interested in working with one of the test sites, now is a great time to reach out. For contact information for every test site, visit faa. gov/uas/research/test_sites/contacts. The FAA Test Sites • Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) • Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) • New Mexico State University • Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership • Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) Alliance • The Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site • Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (LSUASC) To learn about the BVLOS flights the Virginia Tech Mid- Atlantic Aviation Partnership completed earlier this year, read "Virginia Tech and Industry Partners Complete BVLOS Drone Flights Along Power Lines" at Photo courtesy of Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (LSUASC). The LSUASC has developed a robust custom UTM client and an integrated 3-D moving map display used to coordinate UAS operations. Use Lease agreement with the Grand Forks Air Force base, seemed like the perfect fit. The only challenge was they didn't have the approval to f ly BVLOS. Flom began the process to get that approval from the FA A about two years ago, he said. It's been slow going, partly because the FAA didn't yet have a repeatable process in place to review and grant the request. They do now, which should make the process smoother mov- ing forward. "Every step of the way is groundbreaking," Flom said. "The ability to see other air traffic is one of the limiting factors and why we're not f lying BVLOS today." For the BVLOS f lights, the site has a radar feed that Flom said is similar to what's used for air traffic control. There's an observer be- hind the radar display screen, and instead of having control of all the planes in the air- space, he or she stays focused on the UAS and making sure it's properly separated from other aircraft. The observer communicates with the pilot to ensure the UAS avoids other aircraft in the area, including those without transponders and who didn't plan their f light in the UTM system. Researchers at the site have access to a DOD radar feed, DASR-11, which was made possible through the Enhanced-Use Lease agreement. The FAA approved f lights last December, but they then had to wait to secure the radar feed to begin testing, which just happened a few months ago. During the first phase of the testing, the team is tasked with analyzing the airspace as the UAS f lies, Flom said. They want to know if the manned chase airplane, which they're required to f ly for now, is seeing anything the radar isn't (which Flom noted hasn't been the case). They're also f lying the drone at the same time as manned aircraft, adding a conf lict in the airspace that the UAS has to avoid. In the next phase, the drone will f ly without a chase airplane, Flom said. He hopes to move onto that phase by the end of the year. "When we put this together, I wasn't only thinking about General Atomics and the Predator aircraft," he said. "I'm a test site, and am trying to enable the industry to come to us. We have a concept of operations that are not aircraft specific. It's actually fairly aircraft ag- nostic. There are some performance require- ments the aircraft needs to meet, but if another company wanted to do f lights at our site we could use the same concept of operations and work with the FAA to add them into the mix." This might include testing airborne equipment that's designed to meet the FAA's radar require- ments for sense and avoid. They could run their

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