Tech

June 6, 2012

NASA completes ADS-B flight evaluations for UAS

NASA’s Ikhana, a modified General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Predator B, conducts engine run-up before a pre-dawn takeoff on a test flight of the new ADS-B aircraft tracking technology for an unmanned aircraft system.

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center recently completed flight evaluations of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast aircraft tracking system adapted for unmanned aircraft systems aboard the center’s modified MQ-9 Predator B named Ikhana.

ADS-B is an aircraft tracking technology that all aircraft operating in certain U.S. airspace must adopt by January 2020 in order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

NASA Dryden first flew the Ikhana unmanned aircraft with an ADS-B device on March 15. That was the first time an unmanned aircraft as large as the MQ-9 had flown equipped with ADS-B. The initial flights checked out the system’s capabilities in the “out” or transmit mode, while the recently concluded flights evaluated the system’s “in” or receive data mode and its ability to downlink information to the ground control station.

This small blade antenna on the belly of NASA’s modified MQ-9 research aircraft, and another like it atop the fuselage, transmit and receive signals for the new Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast aircraft tracking technology.

The ADS-B test missions also were the first flights of hardware for the NASA Aeronautics research project known as UAS in the NAS, short for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System.

These flights have included the project team’s first use of their Live Virtual Constructive-Distributed Environment, or LVC-DE for short. The LVC-DE system generates simulated air traffic, representing radar and ADS-B-derived surveillance tracks, to test advanced airspace integration concepts, technologies and procedures efficiently and safely. The system incorporates flight performance data from real aircraft, like the Ikhana UAS and other manned and unmanned aircraft, to provide realism and demonstrate actual system capabilities.

The LVC-DE system also keeps humans in the loop, specifically air traffic controllers and pilots, for a fully integrated virtual and real-world simulation experience.

“For a prototype system, the LVC-DE worked well processing and displaying live Ikhana data, live ADS-B “in” traffic reports received by the on-board ADS-B unit and simulated air traffic generated at Ames Research Center,” said Sam Kim, deputy project manager of integrated test and evaluation for the UAS in the NAS project. “When testing complex airspace integration technologies and procedures involving multiple aircraft, it’s much more practical and safer to simulate a majority of the aircraft while employing a minimum number of real aircraft.”

This graphic illustrates the Live Virtual Constructive-Distributed Environment, or LVC-DE, that generates simulated air traffic, representing both radar and ADS-B-derived surveillance tracks, to test advanced airspace integration concepts, technologies and procedures.

“Through the LVC environment, we anticipate developing distributed nodes with our domestic and international partners that will allow low-cost options to expand the flight and simulation asset base, like linking UAS simulators at the FAA Technical Center, or live aircraft flown by partners,” added Chuck Johnson, project manager for the UAS in the NAS project.

The flights were conducted within Dryden’s Western Aeronautical Test Range, which is part of the restricted military flight-test ranges over Edwards Air Force Base and Southern California’s high desert.

For more on flight evaluations of ADS-B for unmanned aircraft, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/ads-b_tested_on_ikhana.html.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>