Galaxy Unmanned System LLC Awarded AFWERX D2P2 SBIR to help usher in Advanced Air
Mobility (AAM). Galaxy Unmanned Systems and subcontractors Waterlines AeroDesign LLC,
COMSovereign, Unmanned Experts, and the University of North Texas will be working together to understand existing AAM environments.
Jason White, Managing Partner at Galaxy Unmanned Systems sums this project up by saying – “Our team’s adaptation of our commercial solutions and the resultant Phase II RF scanning efforts will provide a bridging capability to address and accelerate innovation and enable complex system infrastructure development for Agility Prime stakeholders, regulators, and state / federal agencies.
To this end, Galaxy’s LTA hybrid electric Orbs, COMsovereign’s 5G RF scanning equipment and software, UNT/UMEX’s research in V2V communications and data analysis provide a solid foundational approach to scan, assess, and identify potential hazards that may impede communications in identified candidate air tracks for potential AAM service in urban environments.”
In my estimation, this contract represents a baseline investigation for AAM and any plausible UTM system. If we don’t know the actual RF environment, we may not understand the limitations imposed on existing systems. Urban environments can be signal saturated
spaces and current comms configurations for V2I, V2V, and GPS data anomalies could pose
potential safety issues.
The hybrid-electric lighter than air system serving as the testbed gives the project several
advantages in payload capacity, flight envelope, safety, and endurance besides being a right-of-way vehicle. Airships can stay in the air and loiter on station for hours, allowing more flexibility in testing execution and discovery. More time in the air for real-world testing helps to lessen over-reliance on simulations and modelling of the unknown.
This SBIR/STTR Phase II award is number four for Galaxy Unmanned Systems and their
various research partners. The Galaxy principles Tony White and Jason White have thirty-plus years of experience with various platform configurations in commercial and military unmanned systems operations.
Since their first SBIR award in 2019, they have employed a systems engineering concept based on first prototyping and then building systems that can assist in overcoming some of the hurdles standing in the way of full NAS integration. The latest award will facilitate research allowing for data collection to further that goal.