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 August 1, 2015

News: Marine F-35 jets deemed ready for combat – A small batch of the highly anticipated – and much criticized – F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets have been approved for combat by the U.S. Marine Corps.   News: Reports: China to sell J-10 fighter to Iran, Syria? – Iran is rumored external link to be buying 150...
 
 

News Briefs August 3, 2015

Russian military helicopter crashes during air show, one dead A Russian military helicopter crashed Aug. 2 during an aerobatic display, killing one of its crewmembers and injuring another, the Defense Ministry said. The Mi-28 helicopter gunship was part of a flight of helicopters performing aerobatics at the Dubrovichi firing range in Ryazan region, about 170...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Improved Multiple Launch Rocket System tested at White Sands Missile Range

Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton A Multiple Launch Rocket System with an improved armored cab fires a training rocket during a test. The rockets were simple training rockets and not equipped with a warhead, but still gen...
 

 

Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon demonstrate SM-6’s new anti-ballistic missile defense capability

In a first-of-its-kind test, the U.S. Navy fired a Raytheon Standard Missile-6, intercepting and destroying a short-range ballistic missile target at sea. The successful U.S. Missile Defense Agency test proved a modified SM-6 can eliminate threat ballistic missiles in their final seconds of flight. “SM-6 is the only missile in the world that can do...
 
 

Northrop Grumman-developed stealthy data link validated as combat ready with U.S. Marine Corps

the U.S. Marine Corps achieving F-35B initial operating capability, the Multifunction Advanced Data Link waveform developed by Northrop Grumman has been proven a key combat-ready capability of the F-35 Lightning II program. MADL is a high-data-rate, directional communications link that allows fifth-generation aircraft to communicate and coordinate tactics covertly. During testing of the Lockhee...
 
 

Lockheed Martin technology helps pilots, UAS operators share data, stay safe

As Unmanned Aircraft Systems take to the skies, it is essential for safety that UAS operators and pilots are aware of each other. To help provide this shared situational awareness, Lockheed Martin has deployed the first components of a UAS traffic management system that is available to the UAS community now. Lockheed Martin’s online Flight...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>