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Dr. Parimal Kopardekar Serves as Panelist at the Third FAA UAS Symposium
March 14, 2018

Dr. Parimal Kopardekar, the NASA Ames Senior Technologist for Air Transportation Systems, was invited to participate in the third Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium on March 7, 2018, in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Kopardekar was a panelist on the “Understanding and Enabling Air Traffic Management for UAS panel” moderated by FAA Chief Scientist for NextGen Steve Bradford, with participation from Jay Merkle (FAA Air Traffic Organization), Susan Roberts (General Electric), and Matt Fanelli (Skyward). Dr. Kopardekar presented the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) architecture and the FAA and industry components. Mr. Merkle discussed the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), used for the FAA’s drone authorization and authentication function in UTM, and gave credit to NASA’s UTM project for identifying this requirement. The panel also discussed the UTM Pilot Project (UPP) Industry Day scheduled for March 15, 2018. The Symposium also showcased keynote addresses from Gur Kimchi (Amazon Prime Air) and James Burgess (Project Wing), with the topic of “Research to Reality.” Both speakers described their respective companies’ development efforts, needs, and approaches, and clearly indicated their eagerness to establish UTM services as their businesses. (POC: Parimal Kopardekar)

UTM Technical Capability Level 3 (TCL3) Testing at Nevada UAS Test Site
March 14, 2018

Photograph of a UAV at the test site.

The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and its partners flew multiple Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) over a week-long testing period at the Reno-Stead Airport UAS Range (Reno, NV) from March 5-9, 2018. Eighty-seven operations were completed (54 UAS flights and 33 simulations) over five days of scheduled operations. The tests focused on data and information exchange between UAS Service Suppliers, communication and navigation reliability onboard UAS and how UTM can enable key use cases, such as critical medical supply delivery, hotel surveillance/inspection, disaster response surveillance/assessment, and first responder area security. NASA’s UTM provided test support in the NASA Ames Research Center UTM lab to ensure data quality and track operations. NASA human factors researchers were onsite in Nevada observing and interviewing flight crews about UAS operator perspectives on UTM concepts and to learn about their operational models. TCL 3 testing will continue at five other UAS test sites through the end of May 2018. (POC: Arwa Aweiss and Quang Dao)

Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) Working Group Meetings
March 14, 2018

On March 5-9, 2018, the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) held a working meeting at the NASA Ames Research Park (Moffett Field, CA) for their Working Group #4 (Detect and Avoid) and Working Group #6 (Risk and Safety Assessment) to discuss a risk-based safety methodology for UAS operations, called the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA). During the meeting, Dr. Joseph Rios (Unmanned Aviation System Traffic Management (UTM) Chief Engineer) presented the UTM concept to the JARUS working groups and engaged in follow-on discussions on how UTM fits within the SORA methodology. Overall UTM was broadly viewed as valuable to the SORA development and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has requested NASA UTM project contribution to the UTM Appendix to the SORA. The JARUS working groups membership includes mainly US and European Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) and the SORA methodology has been seen as gaining momentum as a potentially suitable means for demonstrating compliance with regulations amongst many of the CAAs. (POC: Marcus Johnson)

Multi-Agent Air/Ground Integrated Coordination (MAAGIC) Team Workshop
March 14, 2018

The MAAGIC team participants assemble for a group photo.

The Airspace Technology Demonstration 3 (ATD-3) MAAGIC team held a workshop at NASA Ames Research Center from February 27 - March 1, 2018. A total of 19 participants representing NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers and industry partner Alaska Airlines participated. The objective of the workshop was to prepare for the upcoming operational evaluation of MAAGIC, integrating dispatcher use of the National Airspace System Constraint Evaluation and Notification Tool (NASCENT) in the Alaska Airlines System Operations Center, and pilot use of the Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) onboard Alaska Airlines revenue flights. Topics covered during the workshop included MAAGIC functionality, user interface design, and comprehensive software testing in preparation for the deployment of MAAGIC tools. Alaska Airlines participants expressed strong support for the MAAGIC effort, and provided valuable feedback covering various operational capabilities. (POC: Karl Bilimoria)

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