One-page status reports on research conducted or being conducted regarding the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS).
- Aircraft Safety/Safety Risk
- Command and Control
- Detect and Avoid
- Human Factors
- Operational Integration
Aircraft Safety/Safety Risk
Purpose: The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Ground Collision Severity Evaluation study will provide data to help inform:
- What are the severity criteria for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) collisions, such as weight, kinetic energy, etc.?
- What is the severity of a UAS collision with person or property on the ground?
- How can the design of a UAS minimize potential damage during a ground collision?
- Can we categorize the severity of a UAS collision with a person or property on the ground based on the UAS and what would those categories look like?
Purpose: The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation study will provide data to help inform:
- What are the severity criteria for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) collision with an aircraft in the air?
- How can the design of a (UAS) minimize potential damage during a mid-air collision?
- Can we classify a (UAS) collision impact in a similar manner to a bird strike?
- Will a (UAS) collision affect an engine similar to bird ingestion?
- Can we categorize the severity of a (UAS) mid-air collision with an aircraft into categories based on the UAS and what would those categories look like?
Purpose: The certification test case will validate small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) industry standards and support standards development and certification strategies for sUAS, necessary for their safe integration in the National Airspace System (NAS).
Command and Control
Purpose: Assesses communications architecture alternatives and concepts that support UAS operations in the National Airspace System (NAS). This research will identify the most efficient UAS voice communication architecture using the NAS Voice System (NVS); and identify the impacts to Air Traffic Control (ATC) in UAS contingency operation scenarios.
Purpose: The Control Non-Payload Communication (CNPC) flight demonstration will prove the feasibility of using a small radio in a small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) airframe that allows flexible employment of sUAS, and answers the following question: Can a radio developed based on the RTCA Minimum Operational and Performance Standards (MOPS) be practical to use for all sUAS?
Purpose: This research on Secure Command and Control Link with Interference Mitigation will test interference cancellation and mitigation techniques to establish secure communication between unmanned aircraft and the control station.
Purpose: The UAS Command and Control Link Compatibility testing will complement the current validation efforts for Control and Non Payload Communications (CNPC) standards by evaluating the operating compatibility with other L-band avionics equipment.
Detect and Avoid
Purpose: The research will determine the certification obstacles associated with equipment and systems designed to satisfy the Sense and Avoid (SAA) requirement necessary to comply with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that apply to operating and flight rules, 14 CFR Part 91, and how a UAS would comply with those rules.
Purpose: This research will identify how a UAS will meet the need to visually comply with regulations and Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearances.
Purpose: The research will determine the best SAA system architecture for UAS, allowing UAS to detect and avoid other aircraft, which may or may not have location transponders.
Purpose: The research on Surveillance Criticality for Sense and Avoid (SAA) will:
- Determine whether the current operational or technical performance requirements for a cooperative SAA solution based on Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out and/or transponders should change for SAA functions
- Determine whether Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) SAA functions can be carried out by equipage standards using current surveillance equipment
Purpose: The research will answer the following question: What are the requirements/standards for UAS airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) to operate with other airborne CAS?
Purpose: This research will develop a limited approach to Detect and Avoid (DAA) obstacles (airborne or ground) that could enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) under specific operational limitation.
Purpose: The research will address human factors safety concerns that are unique to UAS, both in public use and civil operations as well as perform research that supports development of standards, regulations, and guidance for civil UAS. The four key research categories identified are function allocation, control station requirements, pilot training and certification requirements, and visual observer requirements.
Purpose: This research assess the feasibility of integrating proven UAS mitigation technology with airport operations in order to detect, identify and track both the air vehicle and ground controller to explicitly identify the UAS without interference to existing airport operations.