Exelis Researches Safe Integration of UAS at FAA Test Sites

McLean, Va.-based Exelis has signed agreements with four Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-designated unmanned aerial systems (UAS) test sites to further airspace situational awareness and related research.

Exelis says that the test sites will gain valuable real-time and historical situational awareness of the range space via Symphony RangeVue, the company's sense-and-avoid tool, and that Exelis will gain product feedback through its operational usage.

The participating test sites include the following: the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range at the 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,’ says Ed Sayadian, Exelis' vice president of civil and aerospace systems. ‘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,’ he adds.

According to Exelis, Symphony RangeVue can be used as a post-event analysis application or in the field as a sense-and-avoid tool. Operators and test range personnel can access the real-time and historical surveillance information through a Web-based platform.

Further, Exelis will use the test sites to research detect-and-avoid algorithms; non-cooperative target tracking; command and control systems; infrastructure inspection and monitoring; big data analysis for air traffic; and the integration of non-FAA surveillance sources.


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