Exelis, a global aerospace and defense company, has announced that it has signed agreements with four Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-designated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Test Sites for airspace situational awareness and research. The research will focus on using the Exelis Symphony® RangeVue™ sense-and-avoid tool towards safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system.
Under the terms of the agreements, the Test Sites will gain valuable real-time and historical situational awareness of the range airspace via Symphony RangeVue, while Exelis gains critical product feedback through operational usage. The participating Test Sites are the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range at University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska; the Northern Plains UAS Test Site at University of North Dakota, N.D.; the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance at Griffiss International Airport, N.Y; and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Va.
“The partnerships with these Test Sites are win-win arrangements,” said Ed Sayadian, vice president of Civil & Aerospace Systems for Exelis. “The Test Sites receive air traffic control-quality surveillance data, increasing safety and enabling beyond-line-of-site operations, while Exelis gains critical product feedback which will be used to shape and validate our service offerings.”
Symphony RangeVue enables UAS operators and test range personnel to have access to both real-time and historical aircraft surveillance information via a web-hosted platform, helping to manage mission operations across multiple locations. Symphony RangeVue can be used as command center decision support and post-event analysis tool, or in the field as a sense-and-avoid addition to UAS ground control stations. Flexible geo-fencing tools alert operators when a UAS approaches airspace boundaries or other aircraft are in the vicinity.
Additionally, Exelis is pursuing research and development opportunities with the Test Sites exploring detect-and-avoid algorithms; non-cooperative target tracking; command and control systems; infrastructure inspection and monitoring; big data analysis for air traffic; and integration of non-FAA surveillance sources. Exelis will leverage capabilities across multiple test sites for a wide range of operational testing and collection of safety data.