FAA sets out next steps for UTM Pilot Program in Phase 1 summary report

The results of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP) recently published define the next set of industry and FAA capabilities required to support UTM. Phase 1 demonstrated a number of capabilities including: sharing of operational intent between operators; the ability for a UAS Service Supplier (USS) to generate a UAS Volume Reservation (UVR); and access to FAA Enterprise Services to support shared information. The FAA launched the programme in 2016 to enable the development, testing and demonstration of a set of UTM capabilities.

Phase 1 summary report identifies three areas of future work:

  • Continued development of fundamental operational concepts and requirements to support ongoing prototyping and future evaluation activities
  • Development and refinement of UTM governance including rules and regulations, aviation safety, and UAS standards
  • Evaluation and support for infrastructure development and information security standards.

Under next steps, the report states: “The lessons learned from the UPP demonstrations will be transferred to the industry partners to support future validation activities and promote a more robust series of future evaluation. Phase 2 of the UPP will include the next set of enhancements to the UTM ecosystem, with expected capabilities to support remote identification and tracking of UAS, determining methods of compliance to support FAA rulemaking activities, and supporting UTM message security and data correlation.”

A workshop in December 2019 launched Phase 2 with detailed discussions about use concepts, architecture, technical and functional requirements, and timeline. For example, UPP Phase 2 includes development and deployment of remote identification technologies in increasingly complex environments to enable an UTM ecosystem.

Phase 1 demonstrations were completed during summer 2019. The FAA, NASA and their industry partners successfully conducted demonstrations which consisted of a series of preparation flights and final flight demonstrations, consisting of live UAS flights combined with simulated UTM operations at each test site. The flight activities were executed while participating vehicles were connected to FIMS via communication with a USS, and that USS connected to the UPP demonstration platform. Through the planning and execution of the UPP activities, each of the three UPP partnerships successfully demonstrated all the requisite capabilities. While the specifics of each use case varied between the partnerships, the key UTM capabilities were exercised with success at each site.

The UPP Phase 1 summary report is available at: https://lnkd.in/g7Z-EuB

For more information visit: https://www.faa.gov/uas/research_development/traffic_management/utm_pilot_program/

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