NASA to test drone flights in Nevada and Texas
NASA is building a drone traffic management system and Digital Trends reports that the agency recently announced two organizations will host technical demonstrations for the project’s final phase: Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems in Las Vegas, and the Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence & Innovation in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“This phase represents the most complicated demonstration of advanced UAS operating in a demanding urban environment that will have been tested to date,” NASA’s Ronald Johnson said in a release.
The outlet reports that drones are scheduled to fly in and around downtown Reno, Nevada between March and June 2019, and in Corpus Christi during July and August 2019, with the goal of demonstrating features of drone traffic management technology such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, vehicle-integrated detect-and-avoid capabilities, and automated safe-landing systems.
“This series of tests is a critical step in enabling the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems within an urban environment.”
As the commercial drone industry emerges, NASA is hosting these demonstrations to help key players gather data and get a sense for what drone traffic in urban areas involves so that infrastructure can support the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in this environment.
“We are very excited to partner with NASA on such an important program that will have a significant innovative impact on the global UAS Industry,” said Chris Walach, the Nevada organization’s senior director, in a statement.
Mike Sanders, acting executive director of the Texas organization, added, “This series of tests is a critical step in enabling the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems within an urban environment.”