NASA issues RFI for participation in an initial operational USS network in partnership with FAA

NASA has issued a request for information from UAS service suppliers (USS) to participate in an initial, operational USS network. USSs provide services support the UAS community, to connect Operators and other entities to enable information flow across the USS Network, and to promote shared situational awareness among UTM participants.

The primary purpose of this request for information is to gain a better understanding of readiness and willingness of service operators that built software to published USS standards to participate in an initial, operational USS network.  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will assess the capabilities and approaches submitted to this RFI in regard to future UTM operational evaluation.  While NASA will be involved in the early stages of UTM operationalization, the intent it is to clearly define technology transfer opportunities and extract NASA from providing any operational capabilities in as reasonable timeframe as possible.

A secondary purpose of this RFI is to solicit other service suppliers that are building services out of the scope of the current ASTM USS standards.  These are generally referred to as Supplementary Data Service Providers (SDSPs) by ICAO, FAA, and NASA.  Examples of such service suppliers might be for weather, terrain, surveillance, system prognostics, operation optimization, operator logging, or others.

USS technology has been well-defined over the course of several years of research, testing, and demonstration.  NASA organized four Technical Capability Level demonstrations during its UTM Project which gave initial insights into the definition and various functions of a USS. FAA NextGen hosted two UTM Pilot Programs (UPP1 and UPP2) to further test USS and other technologies as they matured. Then, FAA’s UAS Integration Office (UASIO) implemented an Integrated Pilot Program that involved USS technologies.  Since then, several test sites have established ongoing testing with USS technologies, and several specific USS services have been formalized as ASTM standards within ASTM F3411-22a and F3548-21.  An opensource consortium has been established to foster interoperability of USSs partly through the hosting of code for defining and testing USS interactions per ASTM standards.

From these activities, a great deal of data and expertise has built up over the years, making an initial, operational network of USSs seem plausible soon.

The FAA has announced an initial operational capability for UTM at a Key Site in the National Airspace System.  NASA is partnering with the FAA to incorporate UTM and UAS Service Suppliers into this initial operational capability.  NASA will be responsible for the overall network of service suppliers and the various systems that will support them.  Through our partnership with the FAA and other government agencies, NASA will evaluate the responses to this RFI in conjunction and in collaboration with those other government agencies.  By responding to this RFI, an individual or organization is aware that the information supplied will be shared with other government agencies.

NASA welcomes the UTM service operator community to respond to this notice to provide information and viewpoints on their readiness to participate in an operational USS network. Interested parties are requested to respond no later than 1:00 pm PDT, September 22, 2023, and submitted via

On Monday, September 11 at 1:00 pm PT, NASA will hold a Question and Answer session for this RFI.  Advance questions can be sent to Please reference UTM BVLOS in subject line. Links/details for this meeting will be posted at

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