NASA starts public demonstrations of urban UTM system

NASA is conducting field demonstrations of small drones navigating urban landscapes in Reno, Nevada, and Corpus Christi, Texas, May through August 2019. These demonstrations will complete its testing of technologies that can be part of a system to safely manage drone traffic.

The agency’s research into drone traffic management focuses on operations within a city, at an altitude of 200 to 400 feet, and the unique challenges presented when remote pilots fly beyond visual line of sight in an urban area.

The first drone demonstrations take place on 21 May, in Reno, Nevada.

According to the agency:

“From May through August 2019, the final (technology capability) level will study how the UTM system can integrate drones into urban areas. Along with a larger population, city landscapes present their own challenges: more obstacles to avoid, specific weather and wind conditions, reduced lines of sight, reduced ability to communicate by radio and fewer safe landing locations. TCL4 will test new ways to address these hurdles using the UTM system and technologies onboard the drones. These include incorporating more localized weather predictions into flight planning, using cell phone networks to enhance drone traffic communications and relying on cameras, radar and other ways of “seeing” to ensure drones can maneuver around buildings and land when needed – all while communicating with other drones and users of the UTM system.

“After the research is completed and results are compiled, NASA will then transfer the findings to the FAA for implementation.”

For more information

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-media-to-watch-drone-traffic-management-testing

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