NASA will be conducting a conference and further tests for its sense-and-avoid technology on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) this summer. Starting from the middle of June right into July, NASA will conduct these tests at the Armstrong Flight Research Center located in California.
This will be the first time an autonomous aircraft is being fully tested for its automatic collision avoidance capability.
Taking part in the tests are General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Honeywell International Inc., and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). According project manager Laurie Grindle (UAS-NAS), this is the first instance of flight that is testing all the technological developments from the project simultaneously.
The convention to take place on the topic will be between July 28th and 30th at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field. Speakers at the convention will include innovators, thought leaders, stakeholders, the FAA and NASA. There will be flight demonstrations and exhibits showcasing the most up to date developments in UAS technology and how it will affect the future of flying at low altitudes.
Attendees will further discuss the newest developments in UAS and answers to privacy issues and concerns. Also in discussion will be air traffic management and what opportunities the aviation industry holds for businesses and individuals.
As for the flight test, there are going to be two phases. The first will be to validate the trajectory, sensor, and other simulation models through the use of live data. The main unmanned aerial vehicle to be used in the test will be NASA’s Ikhana, which is armed with the latest sense-and-avoid technology. This technology also has a new traffic collision program and other advanced components from Honeywell.
The next phase will include an S-3B aircraft which will function as a high-speed piloted substitute aircraft. The tests will involve other aircraft coming in the main aircraft’s flight path to see how well the sense-and-avoid system works. This will be a major victory for unmanned aircraft supporters because it will take out the danger of collision with other objects when flying.