Friday, September 30, 2011

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is leading a project designed to help integrate unmanned air vehicles into the world around us. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System project, or UAS in the NAS, will contribute capabilities designed to reduce technical barriers related to safety and operational challenges associated with enabling routine UAS access to the NAS.

Global Hawk in Flight

Unmanned aircraft systems such as NASA's Global Hawks (above) and Predator B named Ikhana (below), along with numerous other unmanned aircraft systems large and small, are the prime focus of the UAS in the NAS effort to integrate them into the national airspace. (NASA photos)

ikahana in flight

The project falls under the Integrated Systems Research Program office managed at NASA Headquarters by the agency’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. NASA’s four aeronautics research centers – Dryden, Ames Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Glenn Research Center – are part of the technology development project.

With the use and diversity of unmanned aircraft growing rapidly, new uses for these vehicles are constantly being considered. Unmanned aircraft promise new ways of increasing efficiency, reducing costs, enhancing safety and saving lives.

The UAS in the NAS project envisions performance-based routine access to all segments of the national airspace for all unmanned aircraft system classes, once all safety-related and technical barriers are overcome.

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