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ATM-X CTM Sub-project Upper Class E Traffic Management (ETM) meeting with Industry and the FAA
March 17, 2021

The Air Traffic Management Exploration (ATM-X) Collaborative Traffic Management (CTM) sub-project Upper E Traffic Management (ETM) team met with representatives from industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on March 12, 2021. This meeting was one in a series to discuss and further develop ETM concepts. More than 60 industry representatives participated, including commercial supersonic transport (Boom and Aerion), fixed-wing HALE (Swift, AeroVironment, Airbus, Aurora), airships and balloons (SCEYE, Loon, Aloft Research), as well as government partners such as the Department of Defense. In the March meeting, topics covered included: community activities such as planned stratospheric test flights of SCEYE’s airship platform and the US Army Zephyr program; industry responses to NASA-FAA’s ETM information request; the introduction of a lexicon to capture the ETM community’s proposed Upper Class E “rules of the road;” and Cooperative Operating Practices (COPs). The needs and constraints for supersonic flights, including the potential impact of shock waves from supersonic operations on balloons and high aspect-ratio aircraft (e.g., solar-powered flying wings) were introduced for further investigation and discussion. NASA and the FAA’s modeling and simulation progress were also presented. The next ETM meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 2021.

POC: Jaewoo Jung

National Campaign Initiates Airport Surveys
March 17, 2021

The National Campaign (NC) subproject, in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Flight Program Operations (AJF) and Technical Operations (AJW) groups at Marina Municipal Airport (KOAR), conducted experimental Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) surveys to inform the development of novel Urban Air Mobility (UAM) approach procedures, March 8-11, 2021. This test series marks the first of four planned airport surveys utilizing the LiDAR and Photogrammetry services. The FAA awarded a contract in October 2020 to investigate the feasibility of using LiDAR to expedite the precision approach surveys and controlling obstacle capture, which would increase the precision of landing surfaces, terrain, and vertical obstructions from the current 1A (3 ft) tolerance to 2 cm precision. The surveys mark the first step towards increasing the accuracy of spatial data, which essential for UAM operations and will help enable the execution of precise approach and departure procedures while maintaining safety. The NC team provided the radius and diameter for the proposed descending /decelerating approaches at KOAR that were turned into survey traps for the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) to fly. The FAA will continue to test three additional airports in the National Airspace (NAS) using LiDAR services to augment the traditional Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) and other current, in-use precision approach surveys.

POC: David Zahn

National Campaign Initiates Dry Run Build #2 UAM Surrogate Flights
March 17, 2021

The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Project’s National Campaign (NC) subproject initiated Dry Run Build #2 flight activities on March 6, 2021, marking the start of a two-week flight test window during which the NC Flight Test Infrastructure will be tested, along with exercising the data collection system, scenarios, and test techniques needed for future flights. The Build #2 flight tests are being conducted in cooperation with representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and are utilizing a Flight Research Inc (FRI) OH-58C helicopter acting as a representative Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicle at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC). The Build #2 flight test is focused on capturing foundational vehicle and operational data and includes test points around flight maneuvers and vehicle characteristics expected by UAM vehicles, UAM approach and departures from heliport and vertiport infrastructure, and flights designed to simulate future UAM missions, as well as pre-flight planning, ground operations, flight operations, and contingencies. The NC Flight Test Infrastructure includes real-time, ADS-B inputs to inform an airspace component (provided by NASA’s Air Traffic Management Exploration Project’s [ATM-X’s] UAM Subproject) to represent a future, third-party airspace provider. Data collection systems including a differential GPS system, instrumentation on board the vehicle, as well as instrumentation provided by the FAA (FIAPA - Flight Inspection Airborne Processor Application), are also included. The Build #2 UAM Surrogate Flights will provide baseline data needed to support evolutions in vehicle, infrastructure, and airspace requirements that will enable the advent of UAM in the National Airspace System (NAS).

POC: Shivanjli Sharma

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Last Updated: March 27, 2021

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