Raytheon and AirMap virtually demo drone monitoring tools on a next-generation air traffic control workstation at 2019 ATCA in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21-23.

AirMap has its integrated its unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) monitoring capabilities into a working prototype of Raytheon’s next-generation air traffic controller workstation, called Multi-platform ATC Re-hosting Solution, or MARS.

With this integration, MARS now offers air traffic controllers streamlined access to UAS monitoring. The MARS workstation integrates commercial, off-the-shelf technologies into a consolidated touchscreen display that provides access to multiple automation applications at one workstation, without changing re-hosted applications.

“When drones fly in controlled airspace, they’re sharing the skies with many other types of aircraft,” says Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon intelligence, information and services. “Air traffic controllers need real-time airspace awareness and alerts to unusual drone activity; it’s a key step on the path toward safe drone integration into the national airspace system.”

AirMap’s airspace management tools – such as real-time remote identification, airspace authorization and dynamic geofencing – provide air traffic controllers access to UAS flight data through automated digital technologies.

In a virtual demonstration, the AirMap technology alerted a MARS user of a drone exhibiting unusual or non-conforming flight behavior within the controlled airspace surrounding a major airport.

“Air traffic controllers, as well as UAS operators and manned aircraft pilots, need situational awareness,” says Ben Marcus, chairman and co-founder of AirMap. “With Raytheon, we’re working to optimize how controllers can be armed with information about UAS without burdensome increases in workload.”

In June, AirMap and Raytheon signed a strategic agreement to collaborate on future projects aimed at UAS integration.

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