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Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Flight Testing of Enabling Vehicle Technologies for the UAS Traffic Management ProjectSmall unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) have been studied and results indicate that there is a large array of highly-beneficial applications. These applications are too numerous to list, but include search and rescue, fire spotting, precision agriculture, etc. to name a few. Typically sUAS vehicles weigh less than 55 pounds and will be performing flight operations in the presence of manned aircraft and other sUAS. Certain sUAS applications, such as package delivery, will include operations in the close proximity of the general public. The full benefit from sUAS is contingent upon the resolution of several technological areas to enable free and widespread use of these vehicles. Technological areas in question include, but are not limited to: autonomous sense and avoid and deconfliction of sUAS from other sUAS and manned aircraft, communications and interfaces between the vehicle and human operators, and high-reliability autonomous systems. The NASA UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project is endeavoring to develop a traffic management system and concept of operations for these types of vehicles. An extensive sUAS flight test effort was performed to partially address vehicle-related technological areas and to shape an understanding of future developmental and test efforts for vehicles intended to use the UTM traffic management system. The flight testing described herein had the following objectives: 1) Install and test Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) systems developed for the automotive industry for potential sense and avoid sUAS applications; 2) Evaluate the use of cellular 4G systems to provide vehicle control; 3) Obtain high-resolution video imagery in support of image-based optical detection sense and avoid systems; 4) Acquire data in fixed-wing flight to support validation and maturation of an autonomous range containment system known as Safeguard in fixed-wing flight. A total of 53 flights were performed over 12 operational days at Beaver Dam Airpark in Elberon, VA. This work was sponsored by the UTM project that is part of the Aviation Operations and Safety Program (AOSP) at NASA.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Glaab, Louis J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Dolph, Chester V.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Young, Steven D.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Coffey, Neil C.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
McSwain, Robert G.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Logan, Michael J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Harper, Donald E.
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 30, 2018
Publication Date
April 1, 2018
Subject Category
Air Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 334005.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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