NASA Testbed Aimed at Safe Airspace Integration of UAVs
NASA Langley Research Center is now open for business as a third-party evaluation facility for command-and-control technologies for safely flying unmanned and light aircraft. Officials see the capability as a necessary commodity in the unmanned aircraft sector, where sense-and-avoid (SAA) safeguards will be needed to meet a 2015 congressional deadline for integrating UAVs into civil airspace. "Our job was to get the capability developed that we knew the community would need," says Andy Lacher, UAS research strategist for The MITRE Corp., a partner with NASA in developing and offering the simulation-to-flight testbed. Lacher and Frank Jones, Langley's associate director of research services, provided a close-up view of the capabilities to Aviation Week on Aug. 15.