Bigfork, MT – uAvionix today announced that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Beyond Program received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations using uAvionix SkyLine™ Managed C2 and Detect & Avoid sensors on the Emerging Aviation Technology Center UAS Test Range. This marks the second BVLOS waiver by the FAA for the combination of uAvionix SkyLine software and SkyLink™ hardware in as many months and allows drone pilots operating at the CNO range to leverage only an Electronic Observer while meeting requirements to remain well-clear of crewed aircraft while the uncrewed aircraft is beyond the pilot’s visual range of sight.
“This approval is a major milestone for the Choctaw Nation’s Emerging Aviation Technology Center,” said James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “With this approval we achieved a major milestone in the FAA Beyond program by enabling BVLOS test flights for our partners and customers by leveraging the permanently deployed hardware and software from uAvionix.”
The approved waiver signifies that uAvionix and the CNO have demonstrated to the FAA that the aircraft detect and avoid systems, procedures, and the control network meet the safety threshold for operations in the national airspace. Key components of the system deployed on the UAS Test Range include the uAvionix SkyLine C2 management platform and pingStation3 dual-mode ADS-B receivers. The SkyLine C2 management platform is integrated with the DeTect™ Harrier radar as part of the surveillance layer and used to control several CNO and uAvionix owned eVTOL aircraft through the uAvionix muLTElink and SkyLink series of C2 radios.
”Successfully demonstrating safe and controlled Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations is critical to meet the growing demand for the use of drones in everything from package delivery to search and rescue operations,” adds Marcus Hartman, Aviation Operations Manager for CNO. “Our collaboration with uAvionix establishes the Advanced Technology Center and the FAA Beyond program as key leaders for this important work.”
“We are incredibly proud to be a Beyond partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma”, said Christian Ramsey, uAvionix President. “This is our second waiver in two weeks based on our SkyLine and Skylink technology stack and DAA sensor integration. Having this capability available at CNO enables our customers to conduct testing and demonstration in Oklahoma and will further serve as guidance for future applications leveraging this concept of operations.”
The SkyLine™ C2 product ecosystem and its innovative muLTElink™ radio, a single low-SWaP avionic device, enable dynamic selection of the best radio link between LTE, ISM, aviation protected C Band and SATCOM, while presenting the end user with real time monitoring of system health and visualization of various integrated DAA sensors. To learn more about the SkyLine Network and uAvionix’s suite of Low-SWaP aviation-grade C2 radios, visit https://uavionix.com/products/skyline/ or contact [email protected]
uAvionix was founded with the mission of bringing safety solutions to the unmanned aviation industry in order to aid in the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into National Airspace Systems (NAS). uAvionix offers low SWaP TSO certified and uncertified avionics for General Aviation (GA), Airport Surface Vehicles and the UAS markets. The team consists of an unparalleled engineering and management team with a unique combination of experience within avionics, surveillance, airport services, UAS aircraft development, radio frequency (RF), and semiconductor industries.
About The Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 208,000 tribal members and 11,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please go to www.choctawnation.com
About The BEYOND Program
A Presidential Memorandum established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) on October 25, 2017. The nine IPP lead participants accomplished many achievements under the IPP, but there were still challenges to be met, which are detailed in the IPP Final Report. Once the program concluded on October 25, 2020, as mandated by statute, the FAA established a new program called BEYOND to address remaining challenges and continue the partnerships and progress made under IPP.
The BEYOND program launched October 26, 2020, as a four-year initiative. It focuses on working toward operating under established rules rather than waivers, collecting data to develop performance-based standards, collecting and addressing community feedback, understanding the potential and realized societal, economic and community benefits of drone use and streamlining the approval processes for drone integration.
More information on The Beyond Program: https://www.faa.gov/uas/programs_partnerships/beyond