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 September 3, 2015

News Carter To China: US ‘Will Fly, Sail, Operate Wherever Law Allows’ Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech billed as all about a new personnel approach for the Pentagon, laid out a clear line in the sand of the temporary islands the Chinese have been building. http://breakingdefense.com/2015/09/carter-to-china-us-will-fly-sail-operate-wherever-law-allows/ LRS-B details emerge: Major t...
 
 

News Briefs September 3, 2015

Soldier injured after parachute failed to deploy A soldier was injured during a U.S. Army Special Operations parachute training exercise in western Montana. Army officials at Fort Bragg, N.C., say 16 soldiers were conducting a free-fall parachute jump from two Blackhawk helicopters near Hamilton Aug. 31 when one soldier had an equipment malfunction and was...
 
 

Boeing, Jet2.com finalize order for 27 Next Generation 737-800s

Boeing and UK Leisure Airline Jet2.com have finalized an order for 27 Next Generation 737-800s, valued at approximately $2.6 billion at current list prices. Jet2.com currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of nearly 60 aircraft; however, this is the organization’s first direct Boeing order.† The aircraft will be used to take the company’s package holiday and...
 

 
boeing-emirates

Boeing, Emirates celebrate airline’s 150th 777 delivery

Boeing and Emirates Airline Sept. 3 celebrated the simultaneous delivery of three 777s — two 777-300ERs and one 777 Freighter — marking the entry of the 150th 777 into Emirates’ fleet. The delivery marks the first tim...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Chromalloy for F108 gas turbine engine module repairs

Chromalloy announced Sept. 2 that it has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide repairs on low pressure turbine modules for the F108 aircraft engine fleet, in a contract valued at up to $74 million. The one-year agreement was contracted by the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and includes four one-year options...
 
 
raytheon-colorado

Raytheon expanding in Colorado Springs

Raytheon will speed up growth of its Colorado Springs presence after signing a $700 million multi-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to support operations at NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Under the...
 




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>