NASA’s First-of-Kind Tests Look to Manage Drones in Cities


NASA launched the final step of a four-year effort to develop a national traffic management drone system, which enabled it to test for the first time outside the operator, when the company looked to the future to complete a higher-level unmanned device. lively streets and buildings.

Several unmanned aerial vehicles flew in a series of concurrent simulations in downtown Reno this week from air testing with new technology that one day used hundreds of thousands of small unmanned commercial aircraft to send parcels, pizzas and medical supplies. to manage.

“These activities are the latest technical challenges we face with unmanned systems,” said David Korsmayer, research and technology associate director at NASA’s AMAC research center in Mountain View, California.

An autonomous drone came out of the roof of a five-story parking garage on Tuesday and landed on another, not seen across the street. It flew like a sensor on a boat, adjusted for windy wind before returning to the middle of the launch.

Equipped with GPS, others do not fly higher than urban street lighting, but cannot avoid the collision of the onboard tracking system with NASA Earth computers.

Similar tests are carried out in remote and rural areas. The Federal Aviation Administration has previously approved individual test flights in cities, but never for some unmanned aircraft or outside the operator’s perspective.

The new test round that will continue this summer in Reno and Corpus Christi, Texas, with the first simulation combines all of these scenarios, said Chris Wallach, executive director of the Institute for Autonomous Systems in Nevada, who conducted tests by Reno of unnamed missiles or BLU.

“When we started this project four years ago, many of us would not have thought we were here today by flying sophisticated drones outside tall buildings,” he said.

The team’s philosophy of “crawling, running, running” was assumed on the 2015 exam starting with the fourth round of this simulation in the end, said Ron Johnson, project manager for unmanned system traffic management at the NASA Research Center.

“We are really in the” ongoing “phase of this development here at Renault,” he said.

The results will be reported to the FAA. The agency outlined the rules proposed in January, which would facilitate restrictions on drones flying above the crowd, but said it would not take until the final act, according to other regulations to identify drones as they fly.

Critics argue that the FAA inhibits the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles by applying the same level of security they use to airlines.

“There may be a lot of mentality in Silicon Valley, where people don’t want to wait. So we try to achieve a balance between giving entrepreneurship and ensuring we do it safely while trying to accelerate the adoption of drones in public, Johnson said.

Amazon and FedEx are among the individual drone companies that deliver in 2020. Drone Flirtey began testing shipments of defibrillators for patients with a heart attack last year in Reno under FAA supervision to send hope to send.

According to Johnson, the city is the biggest challenge because the landing area in tall buildings is limited, causing navigation and communication problems.

He said it was clear that the management of unmanned aerial vehicles for travel plans had to be fully automated because air traffic controllers did not deal with the FAA’s heavy workload.

The system has been tested with the help of 36 private partners, including drone operator manufacturers, software developers, and other third-party service providers, Johnson said.

This system uses ground-based software that transmits flight plans and locations to other software systems. Drones are equipped with programs for landings, accidents, surveillance, detection and identification, optical cameras and laser-like radar systems.

Hugh Tran, director of NASA’s AMAC aerospace research center, said his supervisors at NASA headquarters were shocked to hear the drone test in Reno.

“They said,” Are you crazy? “We hope (the trial) of Renault’s unmanned aerial vehicles shows that they can fly and land safely.”

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