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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Completes Technical Capability Level 4 Testing in Reno, NV
July 1, 2019

Photo of the Reno cityscape with four small drones in the sky.
Four Drones Flying Over Reno, NV

The UTM Project completed its Technical Capability Level 4 (TCL 4) flight tests in Reno, Nevada over a two-week period, June 17-28, 2019. This testing was the first of its kind with multiple UAS (i.e., small drones) flying simultaneously under beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations in a true urban environment. The testing was coordinated by the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and included eighteen industry partners. During testing, five live UAS flew 150 missions in downtown Reno and a nearby park. Additionally, there were over 500 simulated flights that were flown simultaneously with the live flights, to create high density UAS operations. The UAS were outfitted with onboard systems to investigate their communication, navigation, and identification performance. Five industry partners provided UAS Service Suppliers (USS) connected to the NASA Flight Information Management System that controlled the drone air traffic through multiple scenarios including remote launch and land, building roof-top to roof-top operations, emergency responder operations, and airspace volume restrictions. Early results showed the UTM system performed well in the traffic management functions, and pointed out the challenging effects on future UAS designs for intense ambient radio frequency interference on UAS controls, GPS errors due to tall buildings, and micro weather in urban canyons. UTM will be conducting similar tests in Corpus Christi, Texas in August 2019 to further obtain data on the UTM system performance in an urban environment. Shakedown testing for the Corpus Christi test will begin July 25, 2019. (POC: Ron Johnson)


Photo of operators in the NIAS Command Center
NIAS Command Center in Reno, NV


Photo of operators in the Airspace Operations Lab
Airspace Operations Lab (AOL) Monitoring TCL 4 Flight Tests in Reno, NV



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Last Updated: July 8, 2019

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