British drone firm RelmaTech will be taking part in a NASA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) program in Nevada to test drone deployment over urban areas.
According to a company press release, the company was invited by both NASA and the state of Nevada to conduct “UTM TCL4” testing as well as further testing for Nevada’s UTM Pilot Program.
The NASA program is a continuation of “TCL” designated programs, testing various aspects of drone traffic managment.
According to NASA, TCL levels are:
UTM TCL1 concluded the initial NASA field test in August 2015 and underwent additional testing at six FAA sites in April 2016. Technologies in this activity addressed operations for agriculture, firefighting and infrastructure monitoring, with a focus on geofencing, altitude “rules of the road” and scheduling of vehicle trajectories.
UTM TCL2 testing started in October 2016, leveraged TCL1 results and focused on beyond visual line-of-sight operations in sparsely populated areas. Researchers evaluated technologies that allowed flight path conformance monitoring, dynamic adjustments to UAS operation plans and contingency management. This forms the basis for the upcoming flights at the six FAA UAS Test Sites.
UTM TCL3, [which took place in March 2018], will leverage TCL2 and the May 2017 NASA National Campaign results and focus on testing technologies that maintain safe spacing between cooperative (responsive) and non-cooperative (non-responsive) UAS over moderately populated areas.
UTM TCL4, with dates to be determined, will leverage TCL3 results and focus on UAS operations in higher-density urban areas for tasks such as news gathering and package delivery. It will also test technologies that could be used to manage large-scale contingencies.
All drone flown in the Nevada NASA UTM TCL4 and FAA UPP test scenarios will be fitted with RelmaTech’s Secure Integrated Airspace Management (SIAM) technology.
According to Philip Hall, RelmaTech’s Co-Founder and CEO:
“[SIAM] provides both network and broadcast UAS Remote ID and tracking capabilities, enabled by a small light weight, low power, low cost, stand-alone module that can be easily installed on all types of UAS. Capable of supporting multiple communication options, SIAM operates primarily over the cellular network (3G/4G/LTE) but is also designed to operate and/or failover to satellite or other networks when cellular is not available.”
The urban scenario tests will be deployed over Reno, a participant in the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program.
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