NASA, General Atomics Complete Third Phase of Sense & Avoid testing


Evolving technologies necessary for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to safely avoid other aircraft while moving through the nation’s skies recently were put to the test using NASA’s remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft.

The Ikhana UAS soars over the Mojave Desert during a flight from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. NASA Photo/Carla Thomas
The Ikhana UAS soars over the Mojave Desert during a flight from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. NASA Photo/Carla Thomas
Equipped with a prototype system of Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) sensors working in concert with airborne and ground-based computers, Ikhana made 11 flights involving more than 200 scripted encounters with approaching aircraft.

Depending on the specific scenario, either Ikhana detected one or more approaching aircraft and sent an alert to its remote pilot to take action, or Ikhana itself took action on its own by flying a programmed maneuver to avoid a collision — an aviation first.

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Triple growth ahead in UAV spending


FAIRFAX, Va., Aug. 17 (UPI) — Spending on unmanned aerial vehicles for military and civilian use could triple to more than $120 billion over the next 10 years, a new study says.

The Teal Group, a new market analysis firm, estimates that UAV production worldwide will grow from $4 billion annually and will total $93 billion in the next 10 years.

Spending on military UAV research will add another $30 billion to that.

“The market for UAVs looks very strong, increasingly driven by new technologies such as the next generation of unmanned combat systems, and the development of new markets such as civil and consumer drones,” said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the study, titled World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2015.

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Rockwell Collins and NASA to conduct tests aimed at safe integration of UAS into national airspace

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 24 June 2014. 

Rockwell Collins and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials have scheduled risk reduction tests with the goal of enabling unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate safely in national airspace.

“Routine integration of sizeable numbers of UAS into the national airspace system is a challenging task,” explains Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “This technology will provide the critical communications link for UAS pilots on the ground to safely and securely operate their remotely piloted vehicles in flight even though they are many miles apart.”


The NASA-owned Lockheed S-3 Viking and the University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory’s Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft will serve as surrogates for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during two phases of testing.   More…

Registration Open for UAS Airspace Operations Challenge… Phase 1 with $500K Prize


Welcome to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge! This competition is a NASA Centennial Challenge Program. Competitors in a Phase 1 competition will compete for $500,000 in prizes by demonstrating UAS technology and capabilities that are critical to their integration into the national airspace. The Ohio/Indiana UAS Center & Test Complex will host the Phase 1 Competition at Camp Atterbury Range, near Edinburgh, IN. Development Projects Inc. (part of the Dayton Development Coalition) of Dayton, Ohio is managing the competition.

The UAS Airspace Operations Challenge (UAS AOC) is one of several challenges in NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program and is coordinated by NASA Ames Research Center in California on behalf of NASA’s Space Technology and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorates. More…