Washington, Aug 10 (CAnadian-Media): As NASA continues the final stage of testing for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) platform, the agency is inviting media to Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday, Aug. 15, to learn more about what it takes to fly drones safely in urban areas, NASA reports said.
Drones in flight in downtown Reno, Nevada, during shakedown tests for NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management project, or UTM. The final phase of flight tests, known as Technical Capability Level 4, runs from May through August 2019 and is studying how the UTM system can integrate drones into urban areas.
Credits: NASA/Dominic Hart
This test will focus on drone operations at altitudes between 200 and 400 feet within a dense city environment. Along with larger populations, city landscapes present unique challenges to drone traffic management, including: more obstacles to avoid, specific weather and wind conditions, reduced lines of sight, reduced ability to communicate by radio, and fewer safe landing locations. The Corpus Christi activities will test new ways to address these hurdles using the NASA platform and technologies onboard the participating drones.
Media will have the opportunity to interview NASA researchers and watch drone demonstrations. Members of the media interested in participating must contact Darryl Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-604-4789 by noon CDT Wednesday, Aug. 14. Details regarding location and arrival time will be sent to participants who make reservations.
Since 2015, NASA has worked to create a research platforms that can manage drone traffic safely. With a long-standing partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration and help from industry partners, the goal is to understand how a nationwide system for drones can safely integrate remotely-piloted aircraft into low-altitude airspace.