Space

October 4, 2013

Dryden Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Progress

Raphael Jaffe
Staff writer

An extensive review of Dryden Flight Research Centerís activities in Unmanned Aircraft Systems was presented Sept. 26 to national media.

It included tours of UAS operated by Dryden, and observing an active UAS control room. Research in safe operation of UAS in the National Airspace was outlined.

The FAA has been charged by Congress to implement a plan for UAS integration into the national airspace by 2015. A major part of developing this capability has been assigned to NASA. Dryden is the host center for this work, under the guidance of the Headquarters Integrated Systems Research Programs of the Aeronautical Directorate. Other involved NASA centers are Ames, Langley and Glen. The effort is budgeted at about $30 million per year. A document on UAS-NAS integration has been prepared. It lists 19 different US profiles and 17 UAS types.

Laurie Grindle, program manager, discussed the Dryden efforts. There are five focus areas of the UAS in NAS project. These are separation assurance; communications; human systems integration; certification; and integrated tests and evaluation.

Separation assurance will assess how the planned Next Generation ATS will perform in mixed UAS, manned aircraft. It will include flight tests with realistic latencies and uncertain trajectories. It will assess function allocations ranging from the present ground controller aircraft separation to an autonomous airborne self separation.

Communications will develop data on appropriate frequency allocations, and candidate test equipment. Glen Research Center and Rockwell Collins have performed successful tests on a prototype radio with extended range.

Human systems integration has developed a research test bed and data base for a ground control station. This is located at Ames Research Center, and staffed by retired air traffic controllers, and uses simulated aircraft data.

Certification is addressing the need for new FAA airworthiness requirements applicable to UAS digital avionics. Development of type designation criteria is also included.

Integrated tests and evaluation will demonstrate and test viability of the developed system. This will include full mission, human-in-the-loop simulations and flight tests.

A major part of the UAS in NAS activities is the Live Virtual Constructive Distributed Environment computer program. Sam Kim, Integrated Test and Evaluation Project Engineer, and Jamie Willhite, LVC Lead Engineer discussed and demonstrated the program. The system includes core connectivity between Dryden and Ames. It provides the opportunity to use geographically dispersed assets. Virtual traffic and human interactions can be studied without collision risks. Complex airspace can be presented while ‘live’ aircraft fly in ìsafeî restricted airspace. Flight tests were completed in May which processed and displayed to the UAS pilot and air traffic controller screens. These used radar and the Automatic Dependent Surveillance ñBroadcast outputs from simulated UAS. Testing from aircraft flying in the controlled airspace above Edwards AFB will be extensively used.




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


 
 

 
NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA image

Close encounters: Comet Siding Spring seen next to Mars

NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA image This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope Image captures the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened...
 
 

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly shares bullying prevention message ahead of one-year mission

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is scheduled to fly on a one-year spaceflight mission in 2015, is lending his voice to help reduce childhood bullying. As part of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Kelly recorded a special message encouraging bystanders to take action. “Be more than just a bystander,” said Kelly in the message. “Take action...
 
 

NASA seeks ultra-lightweight materials to help enable journey to Mars

NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Proposals will demonstrate lower-mass alternatives to honeycomb or foam cores currently used in composite sandwich structures. Composite sandwich structures are a special type of material made by attaching two thin skins to a lightweight core. This type...
 

 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

NASA partners with leading technology innovators to enable future exploration

Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate c...
 
 

New commercial rocket descent data may help NASA with future Mars landings

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars. “Because the technologies required to land large payloads on Mars...
 




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>