SPRINGFIELD—Today the Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center & Test Complex announced that they will host the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Unmanned
Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge in April 2014 at the center’s Camp Atterbury site in Indiana. The Challenge is a competition to develop innovative “sense and avoid” technology to help integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System (NAS) with an initial prize purse of $500,000.
The Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio/Indiana UAS Center and Test Complex, National Center for Complex Operations, Indiana State University and other regional companies have worked in close collaboration with NASA to develop rules for a challenging Phase I competition. NASA recently approved these rules following a public review.
“Camp Atterbury offers ideal airspace and excellent support facilities for this competition,” according to Dick Honneywell,
Executive Director for the UAS Center and Test Complex. “We have seen significant interest from academia and industry in this Challenge event and intend to use this opportunity to familiarize them with our airspace capabilities and the business-friendly test and evaluation environment provided by the test ranges sponsored by the UAS Center.”
The competition, to be held April 28 to May 2, 2014, will demonstrate basic airmanship and air vehicle capabilities through a series of ground and flight events intended to measure key performance capabilities ensuring that air vehicles are safe, sustainable and practical.
Competitors will need to demonstrate a high level of operational robustness as well as the ability to “sense and avoid” other air traffic. NASA is working to provide a realistic air traffic environment where academic and commercial UAS operators can demonstrate the technologies necessary to operate safely in the same airspace as other aircraft, including civil, commercial, and military aviation.
Ohio and Indiana have teamed to pursue designation as one of six federal test sites for research into unmanned aircraft systems. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will select the test sites, where experts will provide information that could help the FAA determine how unmanned aircraft will one day mix with the nation’s air traffic.
The competition rules and team agreement enabling competitors to sign up for the challenge are posted at uasaoc.org