NASA just held a project named UAS in the NAS, acronym for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System. The project is to allow UAS to gain routine acces to the NAS where commercial aircraft fly.
To do so, the project is working with industry, academia and other government agencies to develop recommendations for the FAA to safely open the skies to allow UAS to fly in the same airspace with human-piloted aircraft and enable new economic opportunities.
One of the Ikhana displays showed the surrounding airspace as it flew. When its airspace was broached by another airplane, the cockpit displays presented the Ikhana pilot with alerts and information about how to respond to the intruder.
The flight was one in a series of flight tests at Armstrong that began in June and is continuing into August. During that test, the Ikhana dealt with 21 intruder encounters, each one different from the others.
Flight tests still to come will generate information that will be helpful in developing UAS-related standards for use with a new Airborne Collision Avoidance System that will support the FAA’s Next Generation Transportation System.
There are still a lot of work that needs to remain in order for NASA to reach their goal for the UAS integration that is on-going at Armstrong and their center.