The New York Griffiss UAS Test Site (Griffiss) has successfully completed a three-week national campaign in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to further test and refine Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The UAS Traffic Management (UTM) campaign, known as Technology Capability Level 2 (TCL2), started on May 15, 2017 with flight tests focused on Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) operations in sparsely populated areas to test the capability, evaluate and refine UTM technology prototypes.
The tests for TCL2 included flying fixed-wing and multi-rotor platforms of unmanned aircraft simultaneously at Griffiss International Airport to support real mission scenarios that included search and rescue, bridge, railway and runway inspection. With the aircraft out of sight of the pilots view they were able to launch the aircraft, fly the designated mission, and land successfully multiple times. The technology currently installed at Griffiss, along with visual observers, allows pilots to fly beyond line of sight (BLOS) and safely track and receive data from the aircraft that is transferred to NASA in real-time.
AX Enterprize, a NUAIR Alliance and Griffiss Partner, implemented a wireless network that enables continuous real-time Telemetry connectivity to the Griffiss Operations Center and seamless Command and Control (C2) of the UAS aircraft for BLOS missions. AX Enterprize, a New York State Certified Women-Owned Small Business, leads the development and integration of tools, processes and procedures that provide the UAS Mission Commander, pilots and NASA continuous situational awareness of the aircraft.
Griffiss is leading the development of UAS test range instrumentation and surveillance coverage to provide a state-of-the-art operations and data management center and testing grounds for the development and experimentation of technologies for safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace (NAS).
“Being one of only seven FAA UAS test sites in the country is a significant advantage for Oneida County,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The partnership between Griffiss International Airport, NUAIR Alliance and NASA is one that continues to place our region on the forefront of this ever-growing industry. These types of events are a great way to showcase the important work that is being done here and the strides that NASA is making in moving this technology forward.”
The next campaign, UTM TCL3, is scheduled for January 2018 and will focus on testing technologies that maintain safe spacing between cooperative (responsive) and non-cooperative (non-responsive) UAS over moderately populated areas.