Integrating UASs into the national airspace: Fast data links and fail-safes are key

XPONENTIAL 2018--DENVER. Rockwell Collins, as part of two weeks of critical testing recently for the NASA Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) program, served as the UAS Service Supplier (USS) for the safe management of a UAS flying beyond visual line-of-sight.

As part of the testing event, Rockwell Collins demonstrated the redundant integration of its CNPC-1000 Command and Control (C2) data links and how they can enable a fail-safe connection for operating the UAS. For example, if one data link gets cut off, the operator is still connected through another link to assure the continued operation of the UAS. The company also demonstrated its webUAS service, which enables an operator to manage multiple UASs in the air, redirecting aircraft if any are set on conflicting flight paths.

The test event was planned and orchestrated by the staff of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (in Grand Forks, North Dakota) under a NASA contract. The University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL) partnered with Rockwell Collins to integrate integration of the CNPC-1000 C2 links into its Pulse Aerospace Vapor 55 unmanned test vehicle and successfully piloted the aircraft throughout the test event.

During test flights for NASA’s UAS Traffic Management program, Rockwell Collins demonstrated how its CNPC-100 Command and Control (C2) data links and webUAS enables the safe operation of multiple unmanned aircraft in the air flying beyond visual line-of-sight. (Rockwell Collins image.)