NASA is conducting field demonstrations of small drones navigating urban landscapes in Reno, Nevada and Corpus Christi, Texas during the next few months, which will complete its testing of technologies that can be part of a system to safely manage drone traffic.
Credits: NASA/Maria Werries
City life has its challenges. The crowds, the traffie, pedestrians at the mercy of the weather or tripping on the curb, their eyes glued to the maps on their phones… The struggle is real, and drones also known as unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS- will face some of the same challenges in our cities in the near future. By 2020, there could be as many as 400,000 commercial small UAS registered in the United States, along with some two million for recreational use. Many jobs those too dirty, dangerous, or dull for people – are already emerging for drones, everywhere from farms in the heartland to the urban jungle. Especially in that urban environment, we’ll need a way to keep all that activity in the air runnigsafely and smoothly of a system to Since 2015, NASA has researched the ins and outs of building a system to do just that, with its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management project, or UTM. The team works with the Fede Aviation Administration and many other partners to understand how a nationwide system for drone traffic could be created from scratch. Now, from May through August 2019, UTM is tackling its final and most complex season of flight tests, called Technical Capability Level 4. With TCL4, they’re taking on the unique challenges of flying small drones in the urban landscape