The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded a $1.6M contract that will advance unmanned traffic management (UTM) at the New York (NY) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site. CAL Analytics will lead a team of five commercial companies in the development of a single, integrated contingency management platform (CMP) for unmanned aircraft integration. Together with NUAIR and Oneida County, the companies will integrate and test their CMP technology to address specific safety and risk mitigation concerns for operating UAS in the national airspace the NY UAS Test Site.
“We’re excited to work directly with the FAA to bring together some of the most innovative companies in the industry to tackle operational safety in UTM,” said Dr. Sean Calhoun, Managing Director of CAL Analytics. “Validating a contingency management approach is a critical, but often overlooked, step to achieve routine commercial drone operations.
Cyber-physical systems-of-systems, like UTM, rely on a multitude of data from various sources to make decisions, often with real-world safety implications. The CMP will offer important protection protocols and situational awareness, alerting operators of faults, failures, and severe weather to help ensure the safe flight of all unmanned aircraft.
CAL Analytics will lead system integration which combines:
● Monitoring and mitigation software from ResilienX, of Syracuse, NY;
● Cybersecurity software provided by Assured Information Security (AIS) of Rome, NY;
● Situational awareness display systems from Kongsberg Geospatial of Ottawa, ON;
● Micro-weather services from TruWeather, also of Syracuse, NY
Validation testing will be managed by NUAIR who manages operations at the Oneida County-owned New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY, one of just seven FAA-designated UAS test sites in the United States. The team will also leverage the state’s 50-mile UAS Corridor installed with radars and advanced technologies to facilitate advanced drone operations.
“This partnership further solidifies Oneida County’s UAS Test Site as the global leader in industry research and advancement,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The unmanned traffic management corridor we have been establishing from Rome to Syracuse is laying the groundwork for the future of UAS deployment, performance, safety and delivery capabilities.”
“Having a reliable UTM health and monitoring function is a key element in the safe integration and commercialization of unmanned aircraft,” said Andy Thurling, chief technology officer at NUAIR. “CAL, ResilienX, and TruWeather continue to be integral partners of NUAIR and the New York UAS Test Site, and we look forward to advancing routine, commercial UAS operations utilizing this program.”
Andrew Carter, President and CTO of ResilienX said, “Performance Authorizations, identified in v2 of the FAA’s UTM CONOPS will lead to scalable, routine commercial drone operations, a goal of the UAS corridor in New York. ResilienX is providing safety assurance though health monitoring and fault mitigation software to maintain a safe level of performance through encountered faults, failures or adverse conditions, enabling these complex ecosystems.”
TruWeather Solutions will deploy its dynamic platform that collects and presents real-time, predictive micro-weather analytics and insights. “TruWeather is excited to build and demonstrate our weather hazard notification services,” said CEO, Don Berchoff. “The CMP will monitor our scalable and agile TruFlite™ alert service to notify UTM providers and operators of emerging adverse conditions to alert specific drone types to take evasive action. The power of the service is other drones, not similarly impacted by the conditions, can continue flying.”
“AIS is thrilled to be a part of this FAA sponsored program in ensuring the cybersecurity of UTM, as a predicate for safe routine operations of UAS in the national air space,” said Scott Robidoux, chief operating officer at AIS. “AIS is leveraging its industry leading capabilities to provide the necessary cybersecurity performance monitoring of the UTM as part of its overall health and integrity.”
Kongsberg Geospatial will deploy IRIS UxS, a real-time airspace visualization system for beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) mission management that allows a single operator to manage multiple aircraft. The system combines real-time data from a variety of sensors to create a real-time picture of the airspace where UAS are being operated.
“For the past few years, we’ve been working on improving safety for BVLOS UAS missions through the development of IRIS UxS,” explains Kongsberg vice president, Paige Cutland. “The IRIS system is now actively deployed for a variety of long-range mission applications including drone delivery, pipeline inspection, and emergency airspace operations.”
The contract is part of the FAA’s efforts to perform vital drone integration safety work at the FAA’s federally-designated UAS test sites. The project was awarded after a competitive acquisition process and intended for “qualified companies who can work at FAA UAS testing sites to forward essential integration technologies such as sense and avoid capabilities, geofencing, and unmanned traffic management (UTM.)”