uAvionix Corporation, a leading provider of avionics and surveillance technologies for UAS, has successfully demonstrated a first-of-its-kind Dynamic Frequency Management System (DFMS) for UAS Command and Control (C2) on the protected 5030 – 5091 MHz aviation spectrum.
The demonstration included flying multiple simultaneous UAS operations in close proximity under a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The innovative uAvionix Frequency Assignment Manager (FAM) module enables enterprises to operate multiple drones simultaneously by dynamically assigning frequencies in compliance with RTCA industry standards such as DO-377 and DO-362A.
“The use of UAS in commercial applications is rapidly expanding across various industries. However, scaling operations by operating multiple drones simultaneously in the same airspace can create interference and safety issues, especially when public spectrum is used for Command and Control,” said Cyriel Kronenburg, uAvionix VP of Business Development and Partnerships. “To address this challenge, the FAA contracted uAvionix in September of 2022 to test and demonstrate the use of a scalable, dynamic frequency manager that optimizes the assignment of frequencies in the protected aviation C-Band, or 5030 – 5091 MHz, ensuring that multiple drones can operate safely and efficiently without interference with each other.”
The uAvionix FAM was designed to comply with DO-377 and DO-362A, the industry standards developed by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) for software and hardware used in aviation. Over 40 test flights were conducted in partnership with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) simultaneously flying up to four drones using the uAvionix SkyLink5060 C-band Airborne Radio Systems (ARS) and SkyStation5060 Ground Stations (GRS).
All operations were centrally managed by the uAvionix SkyLine C2 management system. The FAM, an independent module connected via an Application Programming Interface (API) to ensure future interoperability and scalability, and integration with various UTMs, dynamically assigned spectrum allowing the SkyLine service to automatically program each ARS and GRS based on the optimal configuration to prevent interference.
“We are extremely proud of this milestone of performing a flawless series of operations leveraging our Frequency Assignment Manager for C-Band,” said Christian Ramsey, Managing Director uAvionix Aviation Networks. “This solution represents a major advancement in the drone operations industry, and the results of these tests will further help inform the FAA and the current FCC rulemaking process for C-band use for UAS operations. Our team and the team at NPUASTS have worked tirelessly to conduct over 40 flight tests with up to 4 simultaneous aircraft, following an extensive engineering and bench test effort, to ensure that these tests would be successful and deliver a solution that is a game-changer for the commercial scalability of UAS operations.”