This year’s Xpotential show featured a number of new technology innovation awards. In those areas related to UAS traffic management (UTM): The team comprising the Office of National Research (ONR)/Aurora Flight Services (AFS) Autonomous Aerial Cargo (Utility System) (AACUS) won the first prize in the Detect and Avoid category. Pierce Aerospace’s Flight Portal system came first in the Remote ID category while Whitefox’s Frequency Localizing Electronic Apparatus (FLEA) won the Counter UAS award first prize.
In news from the exhibition floor Sagetech Corporation announced the inclusion of its MXS transponder for ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) equipage on small to medium UAVs in work with NASA for DAA (Detect-and-Avoid) research. Flight tests conducted with NASA’s Ikhana UAS beginning in 2014 are being used to develop and validate minimum operational performance standards for large (group 5) UAVs to detect and avoid other aircraft. An upcoming project phase will see NASA extending its DAA research to smaller UAVs, conducting flight tests with its medium-class (group 3) SIERRA-B (Sensor Integrated Environmental Remote Research Aircraft).“Sagetech is pleased NASA chose its transponders for its research into safe, routine operation of UAVs together with manned aircraft, but I’m not surprised,” says Kelvin Scribner, Sagetech’s CEO.
UAV operations are projected to increase sharply in civil airspace, especially once rules for accessing that airspace are in place. The SIERRA-B technology demonstration signifies NASA’s commitment to push the boundaries of what’s possible on UAVs, even small ones, and lays the groundwork for future FAA rule-making.With Sagetech transponders, UAVs as small as 20 pounds can share airspace safely and routinely with other manned and unmanned aircraft, according to the company.
Meanwhile DataPath, Inc has announced a new line of certified satellite solutions for the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) market. To support the high bandwidth needs of large UAS platforms, known as Groups 4 and 5, DataPath provides certified variants of its DKET transportable network hub and STT trailer-based antenna.
Hemisphere GNSS has released its new multi-GNSS, multi-frequency four-helix HA32 UAV antenna. The HA32 is a high-performance antenna that supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, Hemisphere’s own Atlas L-band correction service. It was designed specifically for UAVs, GIS, surveying, real-time kinematic (RTK) and other applications requiring high-precision positioning and navigation.