By Mark Huber
NASA has selected the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems in Las Vegas and the Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence & Innovation in Corpus Christi, Texas, to demonstrate NASA’s unmanned aircraft systems traffic management (UTM) system in an urban area. The drone flights will take place in and around downtown Reno, Nevada, between March and June, and Corpus Christi during July and August.
Key technologies to be demonstrated include airspace regulator Flight Information Management System, the UAS Service Supplier interface for multiple independent UAS traffic management service providers and their interface with vehicle integrated detect and avoid capabilities; vehicle-to-vehicle communication and collision avoidance; and automated safe landing technologies.
NASA and its partners, including the FAA, aim to help the drone industry understand challenges posed by flying in an urban environment. Results of the flight demonstrations will also be used to formulate future rules, policies and traffic management procedures for operating drones safely over populated areas. The flights constitute the final phase of NASA’s four-year series of increasingly complicated technical demonstrations with drones.