Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 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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ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. 27 April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside firms would generate the information, pro- viding it under contract to USS operators like Google or Amazon. SDSPs could also provide maps of terrain information or operate ground radars to provide survelliance. TIME SENSITIVE Though the APIs are not yet available for third- party data suppliers, NASA is counting down to its final round of tests next year—so it's not too early to be participating. "Getting involved starts with sending a 2-page expression of interest that describes your firm and what your company would be interested in doing. Those two pages will get you on the mailing list for future meetings, an- nouncements and opportunities," Johnson said. "It's a research transition team construct where you have working groups and the working groups have different technical areas and they are made up of NASA and industry people that are interested—and the way we find out about this is through the (letters) that they submit." Information on how to submit an expres- sion of interest is found in Fed Biz Opps (f bo. gov) under sources sought solicitation number UTM-FY2018 from NASA's Ames Research Center—the lead center for the UTM program. The solicitation has a link to a document de- scribing the UTM program. For industry partners interested in partici- pating in UTM, working with NASA could require a Space Act Agreement, Johnson said. "Essentially it's non-reimbursable, so there's no money transfer between NASA and the part- ner—just in-kind contributions," Johnson said. Those who send in expressions of interest, if they want to do things like testing, should ask to set up a Space Act agreement, he said. Some of the UTM technology being de- veloped is being published and is accessible through technical papers, Johnson said. NASA is also doing a lot of its testing through the FAA's seven unmanned aircraft test sites, which also can be an avenue for plugging into the research. The majority of the testing will be com- pleted in 2019 and then the current program will wrap up in 2020, Johnson said. After that, some of the current work will be transitioned into other projects that are just getting start- ed including UAM, or urban air mobility (See page 34 for a related story). Johnson suggested the letter of interest doesn't have to be about participating in build- ing the UTM. It also can be about testing a new drone or application to be sure the structure of the UTM is f lexible enough to enable innova- tive use cases. Qamar Shams' sensor detects tornado formation, earthquakes and air turbulence. "When you're designing a system (you) want to try to make it as f lexible and inclusive as possible," Johnson said, "and if people can come up with these far out things, that there's some plausibility to them, then, yeah, that could help us make a more robust system." Anyone who's interested, however, needs to get involved soon. "It's not too early," Johnson said. "I mean we're doing testing now but next year, 2019, is our last major round of testing. So if some- body wants to get in the game they need to get in the game. That (expression of interest) is a first step." WE CAN HELP THEM, UNTIL THEY ARE REALLY EXPERT AND THEY FEEL THAT, 'YEAH, NOW THEY CAN HANDLE EVERYTHING.' WHATEVER THEY NEED TO DIVERSIFY, TO COMMERCIALIZE THIS TECHNOLOGY." Qamar Shams, co-inventor of infrasound sensor, NASA Langley "

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