The FAA and several industrial partners have successfully concluded real-world testing of unmanned traffic management systems for integrating drones into airspace in the USA. “The Eldorado and Piute Valley has been the home of innovation in UAS airspace for commercial BVLOS operations. We started the nation’s first commercial droneport in 2015 and expanded our testing corridor to include Searchlight Airpark in 2017,” explained Jonathan Daniels, PACI’s CEO and the Airport Manager for Searchlight.
The FAA operational tests were part of a program called the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP) launched in 2017 and conducted at sites in Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia. The UPP aims to help determine the services and capabilities UTM must provide to support extended and enhanced drone operations in the future.
PACI interns from the University of Nevada- Las Vegas, certified through AUVSI’s Trusted Operator Program™ and acting as Remote Pilots-in-Command, used the ANRA Technologies DroneUSS™ software platform to coordinate with the other participants of the UPP during operations on the Searchlight Airpark. Nevada’s senior Congresswoman, Dina Titus, later commended their work during the VIP Demo day at the end of the UPP.
“We’re excited to support PACI with our UTM software platform for UPP and see this as a stepping stone to more advanced drone operations at Searchlight Airpark,” stated Brent Klavon, VP of Operations at ANRA Technologies.
During the last two weeks of July, several companies from around the country converged on the Searchlight Airpark to test Ground-based Detect and Avoid systems with both VLOS and Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS). These test flights were overseen by a PACI Remote-Pilot-In-Command using PACI’s Part 107 BVLOS within the Piute Valley. AirMap provided the PACI operations control center with a real-time operating picture of the airspace for both manned and unmanned aircraft using their proven UAS Service Supplier (USS) platform, in a similar manner as to recent demonstrations with the Virginia UPP, and using ASTM standards in California and Switzerland.
“We’re offering the UAS industry a one-stop-shop operation,” said Daniels. “With our full-service facility in Henderson, our customers are able to integrate system components right into their new or existing aircraft and then test fly at our FAA UAS Test Range just a few miles down the road. Our goal was to develop a droneport where new or existing customers could utilize our capabilities to support their project without the expense of building up the capability internally or organically- in the same manner, that legacy aviation does with traditional airports.”
About Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.
Founded in 2011, PACI is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business based in Southern Nevada. The company’s mission is to develop practical solutions for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) response robotics and unmanned systems (UxS) using a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise, and unique partnerships, PACI develops and operates laboratory and field facilities for autonomous systems research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training. Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. currently serves over 20 clients with military, public and civil robotics/unmanned systems across the globe.
About ANRA Technologies
ANRA Technologies is a provider of end-to-end solutions for UAS operators and airspace managers. ANRA has developed two software platforms for commercial UAS operations. One platform is for UAS traffic management (DroneUSS™) and the other is for orchestrating workflow (DroneOSS™). Both platforms have been rigorously tested and vetted by the world’s foremost government aviation entities and are operational today at multiple test sites, commercial enterprises and UAS Corridors.
ANRA’s software platform supports a myriad of UAS through a cloud-based architecture to enable airspace organization and management, flight awareness, and strategic deconfliction while supporting stakeholder interfaces and integrations. ANRA Technologies has been working on collaborative UTM research and deployments with regulators and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe as well as South America.