Grand Forks County and GrandSKY launch Project ULTRA to enhance DoD UAS/UTM capabilities

Grand Forks County in the United States, in collaboration with GrandSKY, has launched Project ULTRA (UAS Logistics, Traffic, Research, and Autonomy), an initiative aimed at enhancing the Department of Defense’s (DoD) capabilities through advanced uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) technology. 

Project ULTRA is a collaborative effort involving federal organisations and private entities such as NASA, the Air Force Research Laboratory and MITRE. The initiative aims to boost logistics and traffic management within the National Airspace System (NAS) by using UAS technology.

The project, contracted by Washington Headquarters Services, is structured under a 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract with a maximum ceiling of USD18.25 million. Task orders will be issued to define specific projects and funding details, with Task Order 01 valued at USD2,480,281, set to commence at the end of May and conclude by September 30, 2024.

The project aims to enhance airspace situational awareness and traffic management within the NAS through testing and evaluation of uncrewed traffic management and other traffic management systems. It will develop replicable and scalable logistical and supply delivery systems to remote military locations, utilising beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities to create scalable service models for various DoD installations. Small UAS (sUAS) capabilities will be integrated into the project and scalable Counter UAS (C-UAS) technologies will be developed to enhance physical security measures at military facilities and to integrate C-UAS technologies with traffic management.

The Northern Plains UAS Test Site will provide critical support in flight route modelling, UAS selection, and Federal Aviation Administration coordination.

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