FAA funds large scale UTM testing at the NIAS test site

A few days ago, Switch in partnership with ANRA Technologies and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) announced that is has received a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract from the FAA worth $1.79 million to validate unmanned traffic management (UTM) technology.

Switch and ANRA Technologies will work together to demonstrate and validate new unmanned systems at the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) test site in an effort to evaluate performance thresholds, mitigation strategies, operational constraints, and system requirements for scalable operation of commercial small UAS (sUAS).

The test project will also allow for the companies to better understand the redundancy, bandwidth, cost estimates, compute, and data storage requirements needed to safely and securely operate a UTM platform in a scalable and cost-effective manner across the nation.

To ensure the tests run smoothly, hybrid cloud computing mechanisms will be used along with a state of the art UTM platform and data-driven analytics. The team will also use the SwitchSIGHT command centers to virtually create thousands of flights at the same time.

Brent Klavon, VP of Operations at ANRA Technologies shared that the company is thrilled to provide UTM and simulation capability in an effort to research the capacity limits of the platform in a virtual environment.

Unmanned traffic management (UTM)

Much like the air traffic control and the systems used today to manage and keep track of manned systems drones will require a similar system to complete complex beyond visual line of sight commercial flights safely and efficiently. An unmanned traffic management (UTM) essentially is the backbone of every drone operation and keeps track of the flight in real-time, monitors for other aircraft in the area, and ensures the drone will be able to make it to its final destination. UTMs also allow for large companies to keep track of thousands of drones using a simple dashboard interface which allows you to bring up key data at any point during or after the flight.

Photo: Switch



Avatar for Josh Spires Josh Spires

Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.