The FAA and stakeholders are moving full speed ahead on urban air mobility (UAM). The US has committed to advanced air mobility operations by the Los Angeles Olympic games in 2028. One of the projects established to help move the industry forward is the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Airspace Management Demonstration (UAMD.)
How Will Deconfliction Work When Multiple Unmanned Aircraft Share Routes?
The UAMD has been in process for the last year. The project is designed to test concepts of airspace management and demonstrate how UAM corridors might work. The work culminated in live flights of Aurora Flight Science’s optionally piloted Centaur aircraft, with ANRA providing airspace management services. The Centaur flew the 20-mile corridor between St. Martin and Hollister Airports in central California.
In the test, the corridor included multiple entry points (CEPs): points the aircraft used to transition to and from corridors to allow other air traffic to flow. “ANRA was responsible for deconflicting and managing the Centaur aircraft with another participating UAM aircraft provided by Reliable Robotics and simulated traffic,” says a press release.
“There have been many meetings, numerous simulations and plenty of tests to ensure the safe operation of real aircraft flying while connected to the ANRA platform in the NAS,” stated David Murphy, UAMD Project Lead for ANRA. “The ANRA [systems] worked great, but we have much more to learn on how we continue to integrate UAM operations in today’s air traffic system.”
Industry technology partners included Reliable Robotics, Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, and OneSky. Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation provided test site operator support and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University was the overall project manager. The FAA was the project sponsor and provided air traffic controller expertise and support from their NexGen Integration and Evaluation Capability laboratory.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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