Rockwell Collins Successfully Tests BVLOS Unmanned Avionics Solution

By Mike Ball / 08 Jul 2016

Rockwell Collins Ferox UASRockwell Collins has announced that, in collaboration with the University of Iowa’s Operator Performance Lab (OPL), it has successfully controlled an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) using its end-to-end UAS integrated avionics solution. The test flight was a key milestone toward the successful operation of UAS beyond an operator’s visual line of sight in the National Airspace System (NAS).

Key elements of Rockwell Collins’ UAS integrated avionics solution, which is optimized for safe and secure integration of UAS into civil airspace, include:

  • A Ground Control Station based on Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion — a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified integrated avionics solution
  • A Command and Control Network that utilizes Rockwell Collins’ CNPC-1000 command and control data link, which is the first UAS data link to implement the recommended Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Special Committee (SC)-228 UAS Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for UAS Command and Control (C2)
  • Rockwell Collins’ Athena UAS avionics with integrated navigation and flight controls that have over a million hours of safe and reliable operation.

“A number of industries are very eager to use commercial UAS to make their operations much more efficient, especially those that need to monitor and inspect critical infrastructure such as railroads, pipelines and powerlines,” said John Borghese, vice president, Advanced Technology Center for Rockwell Collins. “In order to do that beyond line of sight in the NAS, safe and secure avionics must be implemented. We have now proven that it can be done and we are one step closer to making it a reality for this market.”

“Collaboration between private and public sectors is critical to ensuring the success of commercial UAS in the NAS,” said Dr. Thomas Schnell, director, The University of Iowa’s OPL, which provided two TBM-3M, aka “Ferox”, UAS for the flight testing.

Rockwell Collins plans to conduct its next UAS test flight shortly, continuing to extend the range of safe beyond visual line of sight operations.

Rockwell Collins’ end-to-end UAS integrated avionics solution is optimized to scale from small to large UAS.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact