The Federal Aviation Administration successfully completed phase 2 testing for Unmanned Traffic Management.

Image credit: NASA

New York UAS Test Site Completes Advanced Drone Operations for FAA Drone Integration Program. As a final step in the recent Phase 2 testing of Unmanned Traffic Management two demonstrations were recently held. Participants included local and state elected officials, private companies, representatives of international civil aviation authorities, drone operators and local public security agencies.

More than 40 people from 13 different organizations came together, to complete the work outlined in UPP Phase Two. Mark Reilly of AX Enterprize served as the test director and technical lead for operations, directing the flow of each demonstration scenario and confirming all systems were functioning properly. Tony Basile of NUAIR acted as the air boss, overseeing safety protocols and flight paths, and instructing pilots and visual observers throughout the event.

Three weeks of testing included more than 100 live and simulated manned and unmanned aircraft flights. The team achieved its goal of operations with high-density urban drones, with a maximum density of 18 aircraft (15 live and 3 simulations) in the air at the same time, within 0.2 square miles of airspace over central Rome.

Specifically, the tests showed:
• Data and technologies for remote identification standards
• Volume reserves of drones to notify emergency drone operators
• The capabilities of secure information exchange technology (evidence of communications between FAA, private companies and authorized users)

“UTM’s capabilities in high-density airspace will help us develop policies to safely and efficiently integrate drones into our national airspace, while benefiting and serving communities.” – Says Pamela Whitley, Acting Assistant Administrator for FAA’s NextGen Program.

In addition to high-density operations and UTM functionality, multiple other technologies and capabilities were tested and proved. Remote Identification (Remote ID or RID), which acts like a “license plate” for drones, was a key component of many of the demonstrations. The FAA is currently working on rules that will require drones to be identifiable while in flight.

The Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management System is a “traffic management” ecosystem for uncontrolled operations that is separate from, but complementary to, the FAA Air Traffic Management system. UTM development will eventually identify services, roles and responsibilities, information architecture, data exchange protocols, software functions, infrastructure and performance requirements to enable the management of uncontrolled drone operations at low altitudes.

NASA is an active partner of the FAA in these tests, and before the FAA began its own UTM tests earlier this year, NASA had already completed four phases of its own tests. So, in a way, Phase 2 of the FAA UTM tests could be seen as NASA Phase 6. The future of drones as an important part of the different public and private sectors will depend on the success of these tests by both NASA and FAA, Allowing UAVs to be considered within traffic and airspace will open the door for companies and industries to increasingly use drones as part of their logistics and infrastructure.

Original article published by UAV COACH

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